Scrumming: Gamifying a Dashboard for Undergraduate Student Motivation

Scrumming: Gamifying a Dashboard for Undergraduate Student Motivation

Adriana Peña Pérez Negrón, Jose Luis David Bonilla Carranza, Mirna Muñoz, Sonia Osorio Angel
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4287-6.ch026
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Software project management is a multitask process that involves planning, organizing, monitoring, and controlling. And Scrum is an agile project management method based on self-organized teams; that is, the team members, although guided by a product owner and the Scrum master, evaluate the project's tasks and decide who will take care of them and the schedule. However, in academia, the Scrum method might not work as expected in a professional environment because of the commitment of the team members. Also, it seems more proper for the students to be motivated to take care of more diverse tasks, not just those they are comfortable with. By gamifying the Scrum dashboard for their final subject project, the motivation to take varied and challenging activities is expected. A study was conducted where the main results indicate that the teams under a gamified project in the academy context, have a greater tendency to complete the project.
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Project management involves planning, organizing, monitoring, and controlling all aspects of a project with an agreed schedule, budget and performance criteria, the so-called “iron triangle”. Yet, project management is also in charge of integration, scope, human resource, communication, risk, and procedure management (Radujković & Sjekavica, 2017). Besides, Project management is a multitask process, often dealing with more than one project at the same time; this, in turn, requires several IT tools to support handling, monitoring, and communicating in time with everyone involved in such projects (Horváth, 2019).

For software development, currently, the most known project management approaches are the traditional and the agile ones. The traditional approach seems to represent a better solution for projects with well-defined requirements, while agile approaches better suit when requirements are not well defined, and the software release is expected to be continuous with complete functionality (Andrei et al., 2019). Because of the changing market and software requirement conditions, agile approaches are gaining popularity; furthermore, the agile project management approach has been adopted beyond IT (Ćirić & Gračanin, 2017). Among the most widely used agile methods, Scrum is located at the top (Madampe, 2017).

The Scrum method is grounded on a self-organized team that manages planning and responsibilities division; therefore, the project manager tasks are somehow assumed by the team. Here the team members estimate the development effort, and they also establish who will be in charge of each activity.

The emerging use of the agile methods created a gap between academia and the industry (Fitsilis & Lekatos, 2017; Pérez-Castillo, et al., 2018), which according to Kropp and Meir (2013) should be covered not only theoretically, but practically applied, and integrated into other courses (e.g., programming, algorithms, or data structure) and not only in Software Engineering courses, a practice that has been proved to be appropriate (Fitsilis & Lekatos, 2017).

Several approaches have been proposed for teaching project management as part of Software Engineering, including traditional approaches, real life projects, simulations and gamification (Metrôlho, Ribeiro, & Passão, 2020). Rush & Connolly (2020) proposed a teaching framework for integrating Scrum in an IT project management course. For its adaptation in the classroom they presented a scheme of pre-semester activities and adapting the class schedule for Scrum activities. Their approach is Scrum based but to teach traditional project management content in undergraduate students. According to the authors, the approach supports developing also confidence and social skills needed in project management. For training in Scrum, Schäfer (2017) proposed using a game-based approach for different background students (i.e. computer science and electronic engineering bachelor degrees). They used Minecraft 3D blocks open world where players build landscapes and buildings, and asked the students to construct a project using Scrum for its management. As a result, they consider this approach as helping different background students together, a motivational factor. Steghöfer, et al. (2017), proposed a workshop to use Scrum for building a logo city, as a strategy to observe the students during the process of learning team work and project management. They found it proper to rise the students’ confidence in applying Scrum practices and that the workshop format introduces the students to the importance of communication in project management. De Souza et all, (2017) presented SCRUMI as a serious game to teach Scrum, based on questions and answers regarding the concepts of the Scrum framework. They found that most of the students felt motivated seeking to achieve the proposed challenges.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Behavior Best Practices: Are practices related to soft skills such as tobe able to work in teams and to share knowledge among others.

Agile Methods: Were created as a solution to reduce the time to produce software products from their conception to their delivery.

Scrum Method: The most popular agile method, that provides a framework focused on an empirical process control highlighting the social engineering to produce delivering products with the highest possible value.

Project Management: Set of activities to be performed in all projects covering its planification, monitoring and control and its closure to achieve that project can be achieved within the time and budget expected.

Agile Project Management: Set of activities to be performed in a project covering its planification, monitoring and control and its closure by applying agile principles such as reinforcing teamwork, organization, and self-responsibility.

Gamification: Is the use of game elements to boost the motivation and participation of people in a non-game environment.

Digital Dashboards: Agile tool that allows Scrum teams to have a better visibility of their work throughout the software development project.

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