Agile Software Development Challenges in Implementation and Adoption: Focusing on Large and Distributed Settings – Past Experiences, Emergent Topics

Agile Software Development Challenges in Implementation and Adoption: Focusing on Large and Distributed Settings – Past Experiences, Emergent Topics

Abbas Moshref Razavi (University of Malaya, Malaysia) and Rodina Ahmad (University of Malaya, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9858-1.ch010
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The first part of this chapter presents the results of a systematic literature review on Agile Software Development (ASD) challenges as are reported in implementation and adoption cases. The data only considers the concrete evidences of surfaced problems mainly according to work experience and case study articles. The results are analyzed so that types, nature and intensity of the problems are determined and, compared to each other, within three major classifications of “large organizations”, “distributed settings” and “both large and distributed environments”. The analysis reveals that, in ASD, common organizational and managerial issues have been replaced by communication and collaboration problems. The second part uses the results of the part one as a frame of analysis to render more interpretations e.g. signifying that non-agility preconceptions are the root of a majority of problematic projects. Besides, mediating between agile projects and traditional forms of management, and, economic governance are two major rival approaches that are emerging in response to these challenges.
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Part I: Classification Of Challenges

Due to common acceptance of ASD and, as was previously mentioned, indispensability of large organizations to adopt ASD, this chapter intends to provide valuable information for adopters in terms of the challenges which would possibly be encountered in the course of implementation/adoption.

Therefore, the subsequent questions are attempted to be answered. First, what are the challenges of implementing or adopting ASD particularly for large and/or geographically distributed organizations/software development teams? Second, what have been the major types and categories of these challenges relating to managerial, cultural and technical aspect? Third, what are the main roots that the challenges have been emerged form? And, fourth, what is the prediction of new types of challenges in ASD adoption for a close future?

In this study, method implementation refers usually, not necessarily, to first-time-experience of an agile method for a specific project. On the other hand, method adoption normally signifies a long term report of transition to agile methods along with an essential organizational transformation in both managerial and cultural aspects. As such, this chapter strives to deal with both implementation and adoption based on the existing literature.

As was previously mentioned, here, the “large organization” scope of the study refers to large organizations that might be software firms (including very large ones e.g. Microsoft, Amazon, etc.) or large organizations who adopt ASD by their inner Software Development (SD) teams (e.g. BCI) or outsourcing to the other software firms.

By referring to “distributed settings”, we have considered all the possibilities of distributed organizations and/or presence of off-shore (and near-shore; to clarify the concept see e.g. Vax, & Michaud, 2008; Zieris, & Salinger, 2013) teams, and likely, along with the concept of global software engineering. In this view, (spatial) distribution may happens in various forms, like in the cases of separated teams, separation between customer environment and development teams, out-sourced teams, global software engineering firms, and organizations which act as intermediators and brokers (between the client and developers).

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