What Makes Agile Software Development Agile


Marco Kuhrmann, Universitt Passau
Paolo Tell, IT-Universitetet i Kobenhavn
Regina Hebig, Chalmers University of Technology
Jil Ann-Christin Klunder, Leibniz Universitt Hannover, Hannover
Jurgen Munch, Hochschule Reutlingen
Oliver Linssen, Hochschulzentrum Dsseldorf, FOM Hochschule
Dietmar Pfahl, University of Tartu
Michael Felderer, University of Innsbruck
Christian Prause, Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Raumfahrt
Steve Macdonell, Auckland University of Technology
Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende, Makerere University
David Raffo, Portland State UniversityFollow
Sarah Beecham, Limerick University
Eray Tuzun, Bilkent University
Gustavo Lopez, University of Costa Rica
Nicolas Paez, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febreroaez
Diego Fontdevila, Facultad de Ingniera, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, 28242 Caseros, Argentina, Argentina, (e-mail: dfontdevila@untref.edu.ar)
Sherlock Licorish, University of Otago
Steffen Kupper, Technische Universitt Clausthal
Guenther Ruhe, University of Calgary
Eric Knauss, Computer Science and Engineering
Ozden Ozcan-Top, Middle East Technical University
Paul Clarke, School of Computing, Dublin City University, 8818 Dublin, Ireland, Ireland, (e-mail: paul.m.clarke@dcu.ie)
Fergal Hugh Mc Caffery, RSRC, Dundalk Institute of Technology, 8817 Dundalk, Louth, Ireland, (e-mail: fergal.mccaffery@dkit.ie)
Marcela Genero, DTSI, University of Castilla-La Mancha, ciudad real, ciudad real, Spain, (e-mail: Marcela.Genero@uclm.es)
Aurora Vizcaino, Tecnologas y Sistemas de Informacin, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real, Spain, (e-mail: Aurora.Vizcaino@uclm.es)
Mario Piattini, CS, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Cuidad Real, Spain, Spain, (e-mail: mario.piattini@uclm.es)
Marcos Kalinowski, Department of Informatics, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, 28099 Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 22451-900 (e-mail: kalinowski@inf.puc-rio.br)
Tayana Conte, Instituto de Computao, Federal University of Amazonas, 67892 Manaus, AM, Brazil, (e-mail: tayana@icomp.ufam.edu.br)
Rafael Prikladnicki, CS, PUCRS, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, (e-mail: rafael.prikladnicki@pucrs.br)
Stephan Krusche, Computer Science, Technical University of Munich, Garching, Bavaria, Germany, (e-mail: krusche@in.tum.de)
Ahmet Coskuncay, Computer Engineering, Ataturk University, 37503 Erzurum, Turkey, Turkey, (e-mail: ahmet.coskuncay@gmail.com)
Ezequiel Scott, Chair of Software Engineering, University of Tartu, 37546 Tartu, Tartumaa, Estonia, (e-mail: ezequielscott@gmail.com)

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IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering

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Together with many success stories, promises such as the increase in production speed and the improvement in stakeholders' collaboration have contributed to making agile a transformation in the software industry in which many companies want to take part. However, driven either by a natural and expected evolution or by contextual factors that challenge the adoption of agile methods as prescribed by their creator(s), software processes in practice mutate into hybrids over time. Are these still agile In this article, we investigate the question: what makes a software development method agile We present an empirical study grounded in a large-scale international survey that aims to identify software development methods and practices that improve or tame agility. Based on 556 data points, we analyze the perceived degree of agility in the implementation of standard project disciplines and its relation to used development methods and practices. Our findings suggest that only a small number of participants operate their projects in a purely traditional or agile manner (under 15%). That said, most project disciplines and most practices show a clear trend towards increasing degrees of agility. Compared to the methods used to develop software, the selection of practices has a stronger effect on the degree of agility of a given discipline. Finally, there are no methods or practices that explicitly guarantee or prevent agility. We conclude that agility cannot be defined solely at the process level. Additional factors need to be taken into account when trying to implement or improve agility in a software company. Finally, we discuss the field of software process-related research in the light of our findings and present a roadmap for future research.


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