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Making Software Teams Effective

How Agile Practices Lead to Project Success Through Teamwork Mechanisms

Chaehan So

How does good teamwork emerge?
Can we control mechanisms of teamwork?
The author has analyzed these questions in a study involving 227 participants of 55 software development teams. First, he empirically confirmed his teamwork model based on innovation research, goal setting and control theory. Second, he measured the impact of a wide selection of agile practices on these teamwork mechanisms. Third, he explained these impacts based on a thorough review of current psychological research.
This book is intended for people working in agile contexts as they will gain insight into the complexity of how «good teamwork» emerges. This insight on team dynamics may also prove valuable for upper management for calibrating agile practices and «soft factors», thus increasing the effectiveness of software teams.


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5 Discussion 143


Chapter 5 Discussion The starting point of this study was to conduct group research in the context of agile software development guided by the question “Do agile practices lead to team effectiveness through teamwork mechanisms?”. Breaking it into two research questions facilitated the finding of differentiated answers as will be delineated in the conclusions. These answers have contributed to teamwork and agile research due to the methodological conduct of this study. The major challenge imposed by the small sample size was addressed with a number of methodological steps channeled into applying two different aggregation techniques of structural equation mod- eling which allowed methodological comparison. After explaining the results in terms of their theoretical and practical impli- cations, the methodological limitations of this study are elaborated. Lastly, the discussion gives indications how the results can effectively be in- tegrated into future research. 5.1 Conclusions In order to answer Research Question 1 (“Which teamwork mechanisms towards team effectiveness are relevant in the agile context?”), this study generated evidence suggesting that the four teamwork mechanisms hypothesized in this study are all relevant in the agile context. These teamwork mechanisms are based on an established causal model of teamwork (Scholl, 2005) from organizational psy- chology, and its extension with four teamwork variables derived from goal set- ting theory (Locke & Latham, 1990) and control theory (Carver & Scheier, 1982). SEM analyses with two different aggregation techniques yielded essentially the same results. These results confirmed the basic causal teamwork model of Scholl (2005), composed of Coordination Capability...

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