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A review on the critical success factors of agile software development: an empirical study

A review on the critical success factors of agile software development: an empirical study
A review on the critical success factors of agile software development: an empirical study
Given the evolution and increasing usage of agile development practices and techniques, the successful implementation of agile development is crucial. Agile software development has become one of the most commonly used methodologies for developing software, and it promises to deliver many benefits. Nevertheless, the implementation of agile practices and techniques requires many changes that might be a challenge for organisations attempting to succeed with agile software development. The relevant literature presents a great deal of research which has studied the critical success factors (CSFs) of agile software development. This study aims firstly to review the literature related to agile software development in order to identify the CSFs of agile software development. With this in mind, one of the objectives of this study is to investigate those factors which contribute to the success of agile software development. This study also aims to explore the relations between these factors and to suggest a set of measurements which could be used to measure the success of agile software development projects. To achieve these objectives, this research has employed empirical research methodologies aiming to address the research objectives. All of the research methods employed in this study have received ethical approval from the ethical committee of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

This research involved carrying out an exploratory study to investigate the identified success factors of agile software development. A web-based survey was distributed to agile practitioners in order to obtain their beliefs regarding the importance of the identified success factors. As a result, it was possible to order the CSFs of agile development by importance. Communication was found to be the most important success factor. The relations between the agile project’s progress and the importance of these factors were explored. Using factor analysis, the inter-relations between the identified success factors were also investigated. The success factors were split into two components with the aim of developing a better understanding of said factors; the two resulting components were as follows: the organisational and people component, and the technical and project component.

This research, moreover, developed an instrument with which the success of agile development projects could be evaluated. The proposed instrument includes a list of questions and metrics to measure the success of agile development projects. Agile experts were interviewed to review the development of the proposed instrument. Following the feedback from the experts, the instrument
was amended. Once this stage had been completed, the instrument was used in three case studies; the aim of this was to seek a practical evaluation on whether the proposed instrument is valid which was confirmed and some suggestions on how it could be improved were obtained.

To summarise, this research attempted to recognise the CSFs and to understand their importance, how this varies through the agile project, and their interrelations to provide insights into these CSFs. Furthermore, this research developed and validated an instrument to measure and evaluate the success in addressing these CSFs during an agile software development project.
University of Southampton
Aldahmash, Abdullah M.
fb7d6e9a-419a-43be-be83-eda446fdfc24
Aldahmash, Abdullah M.
fb7d6e9a-419a-43be-be83-eda446fdfc24
Gravell, Andrew
f3a261c5-f057-4b5f-b6ac-c1ca37d72749

Aldahmash, Abdullah M. (2018) A review on the critical success factors of agile software development: an empirical study. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 199pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Given the evolution and increasing usage of agile development practices and techniques, the successful implementation of agile development is crucial. Agile software development has become one of the most commonly used methodologies for developing software, and it promises to deliver many benefits. Nevertheless, the implementation of agile practices and techniques requires many changes that might be a challenge for organisations attempting to succeed with agile software development. The relevant literature presents a great deal of research which has studied the critical success factors (CSFs) of agile software development. This study aims firstly to review the literature related to agile software development in order to identify the CSFs of agile software development. With this in mind, one of the objectives of this study is to investigate those factors which contribute to the success of agile software development. This study also aims to explore the relations between these factors and to suggest a set of measurements which could be used to measure the success of agile software development projects. To achieve these objectives, this research has employed empirical research methodologies aiming to address the research objectives. All of the research methods employed in this study have received ethical approval from the ethical committee of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

This research involved carrying out an exploratory study to investigate the identified success factors of agile software development. A web-based survey was distributed to agile practitioners in order to obtain their beliefs regarding the importance of the identified success factors. As a result, it was possible to order the CSFs of agile development by importance. Communication was found to be the most important success factor. The relations between the agile project’s progress and the importance of these factors were explored. Using factor analysis, the inter-relations between the identified success factors were also investigated. The success factors were split into two components with the aim of developing a better understanding of said factors; the two resulting components were as follows: the organisational and people component, and the technical and project component.

This research, moreover, developed an instrument with which the success of agile development projects could be evaluated. The proposed instrument includes a list of questions and metrics to measure the success of agile development projects. Agile experts were interviewed to review the development of the proposed instrument. Following the feedback from the experts, the instrument
was amended. Once this stage had been completed, the instrument was used in three case studies; the aim of this was to seek a practical evaluation on whether the proposed instrument is valid which was confirmed and some suggestions on how it could be improved were obtained.

To summarise, this research attempted to recognise the CSFs and to understand their importance, how this varies through the agile project, and their interrelations to provide insights into these CSFs. Furthermore, this research developed and validated an instrument to measure and evaluate the success in addressing these CSFs during an agile software development project.

Text
Final Thesis - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 9 January 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

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Published date: September 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428042
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428042
PURE UUID: 056234ed-fd82-4cc0-bd89-efa9cbca17ea

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Feb 2019 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 17:36

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