Agile and Lean: Organizations, Products and Development

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    Why apply agile? - A literature review on work outcomes in agile information systems development
    ( 2022-01-04) Huck-Fries, Veronika ; Spitzer, Rosa
    Agile information systems development (ISD) has become a popular way to manage IT projects. One of the key claims of agile ISD is to increase employees’ work outcomes, such as job satisfaction. However, the research landscape is heterogenous and lacks of a comprehensive overview. In this research, we set out to analyze and synthesize the current state of research on agile ISD and work outcomes by a systematic literature review. Overall, we found a trend of a positive relationship of agile ISD on work outcomes, although there is a variety of constructs that influence this relationship. We propose four directions for future research: perceptions of work, extended quantitative findings, multi-level effects and IT project success.
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    Using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and Slack: A Case Study of Coordination in Large-Scale Distributed Agile
    ( 2022-01-04) Stray, Viktoria ; Moe, Nils Brede ; Vedal, Henrik ; Berntzen, Marthe
    Today, many large-scale software projects have members working from home, which has changed the way teams coordinate work. To better understand coordination in this setting, we conducted a case study through which we examined two teams in a large-scale agile project by observing meetings and conducting 17 interviews. Through the lens of Relational Coordination Theory (RCT), we analyzed the use of the goal-setting framework Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and the collaboration tool Slack. Slack was used for frequent, timely, and problem-solving communication and, and its use decreased the number of planned meetings. However, discussions often started on Slack and continued in virtual ad-hoc meetings. The use of OKRs facilitated knowledge sharing, helped the teams align their goals, and provided inter-team insights. The main implication of our research is that projects using OKRs need to support project members, especially in formulating the key results that align and motivate the teams to work toward the same mission.
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    The Impact of Covid 19 on Agile Software Development: A Systematic Literature Review
    ( 2022-01-04) Neumann, Michael ; Bogdanov, Yevgen
    In 2020, the world changed due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Containment measures to reduce the spread of the virus were planned and implemented by many countries and companies. Many companies sent their employees to work from home. This change has led to significant challenges in teams that were co-located before the pandemic. Agile software development teams were affected by this switch, as agile methods focus on communication and collaboration. Research results have already been published on the challenges of switching to remote work and the effects on agile software development teams. This article presents a systematic literature review. We identified 12 relevant papers for our studies and analyzed them on detail. The results provide an overview how agile software development teams reacted to the switch to remote work, e.g., which agile practices they adapted. We also gained insights on the changes of the performance of agile software development teams and social effects on agile software development teams during the pandemic.
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    Rocket Mortgage Delivers Twice the Value in Half the Time at Scale
    ( 2022-01-04) Juan, David ; Negron, David ; Simmons, Michael ; Sutherland, Jeff
    The conventional wisdom of many Agilists is that Scaled Agile and Scaled Scrum are incompatible. This was tested in 2018 when Rocket Mortgage used a Scaled Agile model to organize 2,000 of their 26,000 team members into teams, and the teams into collections of "release trains" centered around business value streams. The Client Marketing Release Train then took the Scaled Agile model that all release trains were implementing and layered Scaled Scrum with Dev.Ops practices on top of it. By doing so, they reduced the average feature cycle time from 83.7 days to 11.6 days and increased feature delivery by 721% with higher quality. Here we describe the tools and techniques they used to deliver more than twice the value at half the cost.
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    Psychological Safety in Agile Software Development Teams: Work Design Antecedents and Performance Consequences
    ( 2022-01-04) Buvik, Marte ; Tkalich, Anastasiia
    Psychological safety has been postulated as a key factor for the success of agile software development teams, yet there is a lack of empirical studies investigating the role of psychological safety in this context. This study examines how work design characteristics of software development teams (autonomy, task interdependence and role clarity) influence psychological safety and further how psychological safety impacts team performance, either directly or indirectly through team reflexivity. We test our model using survey data from 236 team members in 43 software development teams in Norway. Our results show that autonomy boosts psychological safety in software teams and that psychological safety again has positive effect on team reflexivity and a direct effect on team performance.
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    “Primus inter Pares”?—The Perception of Emergent Leadership Behavior in Agile Software Development Teams
    ( 2022-01-04) Biehler, Jan ; Przybilla, Leonard ; Krcmar, Helmut
    Despite being a key feature of Agile Software Development (ASD), self-organization within ASD teams has received limited research attention. Hence, this study furthers our understanding of how informal emergent leadership may develop within ASD teams by combining knowledge on ASD teams with extant research on emergent leadership. In an exploratory mixed-method study of two Scrum teams, we observed two specific types of emergent leaders, namely, a “detail-oriented structurer”, and a “big picture coordinator.” For emergent leadership to develop, the Scrum master had to create a “leadership gap.” Given this leadership gap, emergent leadership may develop in a circular manner: specific behaviors of team members and their perceptions may provide the basis for emergent leadership, which combined with implicit leadership theories of team members give rise to a leadership structure. Our results add to research on emergent leadership and increase our understanding of self-organization in ASD teams.
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    Improving productivity through corporate hackathons: A multiple case study of two large-scale agile organizations
    ( 2022-01-04) Moe, Nils Brede ; Ulfsnes, Rasmus ; Stray, Viktoria ; Smite, Darja
    Software development companies organize hackathons to encourage innovation. Despite many benefits of hackathons, in large-scale agile organizations where many teams work together, stopping the ongoing work results in a significant decrease in the immediate output. Motivated by the need to understand whether and how to run hackathons, we investigated how the practice affects productivity on the individual and organizational levels. By mapping the benefits and challenges to an established productivity framework, we found that hackathons improve developers' satisfaction and well-being, strengthen the company culture, improve performance (as many ideas are tested), increase activity (as the ideas are developed quickly), and improve communication and collaboration (because the social network is strengthened). Addressing managerial concerns, we found that hackathons also increase efficiency and flow because people learn to complete work and make progress quickly, and they build new competence. Finally, with respect to virtual hackathons we found that developers work more in isolation because tasks are split between team members resulting in less collaboration. This means that some important, expected hackathon values in virtual contexts require extra effort and cannot be taken for granted.
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    DevOps Adoption: Challenges & Barriers
    ( 2022-01-04) Krey, Mike
    As a modern software engineering paradigm, DevOps has recently gained increasing acceptance in the industry as a set of practices and cultural values to address daily dynamic software demands. While the rising trend of DevOps and its characteristics and challenges have often been characterized by practitioner communities and academic research circles, there is still a lack of a thorough understanding of how to tackle DevOps adoptions. This paper aims to help fill this gap by identifying, discussing, and summarizing current academic and practitioner DevOps adoption & implementation research. Our findings provide a basis for theoretical, empirical, or design-oriented research for IS scholars, that has the potential to be of practical importance. Our goal is to improve understanding of DevOps adoption by uncovering ambiguities in terms, conceptual conflations, and ideas underlying different uses of the concept as well as providing methods to deal with common challenges in the adoption process.
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    Achieving Lean Data Science Agility Via Data Driven Scrum
    ( 2022-01-04) Saltz, Jeffrey ; Sutherland, Alex ; Hotz, Nicholas
    This paper first explores the concept of a lean project and defines four principles team should follow to achieve lean data science. It then describes a new team process framework, which we call Data Driven Scrum (DDS), which enables lean data science project agility. DDS is similar to Scrum but key differences include that DDS defines capability-based iterations (as compared to Scrum time-based sprints), DDS increases the focus in observing and analyzing the output of each iteration (experiment), and that DDS defines process improvement meetings (e.g. retrospectives iteration reviews) to be held on a frequency the team deems appropriate (as compared to Scrum which defines these meetings to be at the end of each iteration). The paper also reports on a pilot study of an organization that adopted the DDS framework.
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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Agile and Lean: Organizations, Products and Development
    ( 2022-01-04) Saltz, Jeffrey ; Sutherland, Alex ; Anderson, Edward