An empirical investigation of critical success factors in agile software development projects

by Cao, Dac-Buu, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2006, 179 pages; 3238566


While software is so important for all facets of the modern world, software development itself is not a perfect process. Agile software engineering methods have recently emerged as a new and better way of developing software as compared to the traditional methodologies. However, their success has mostly been anecdotal, and research in this subject is still scant in the academic circles. This research study was carried out to explore and determine the critical success factors of Agile software development projects using quantitative approach.

The research compiled success and failure factors of Agile projects identified in the existing literature into a preliminary list of potential critical success factors. Subsequently, reliability analysis and factor analysis were conducted in order to consolidate the list into a final set of 12 possible critical success factors for each of the four project success categories---Quality, Scope, Time, and Cost.

A survey was conducted among Agile professionals, gathering empirical data from 109 Agile projects from 25 countries across the world. Multiple regression techniques were used, both at the full regression model and at the optimized regression model via the stepwise screening procedure. The results revealed that only 10 out of 48 hypotheses were supported, identifying three critical success factors for Agile software development projects: (a) Delivery Strategy, (b) Agile Software Engineering Techniques, and (c) Team Capability.

The results provided researchers and practitioners with insight on the comparative values of success factors, and might help managers to quickly determine if their organizations are ready to jump onto the Agile bandwagon.

AdviserTsun Chow
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Information science; Computer science
Publication Number3238566

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