Process subversion in Agile Scrum software development: A phenomenological approach

by Malone, Michael W., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 110 pages; 3632735


This qualitative study examined the ways in which process subversion, defined as any attempt, conscious or unconscious, to work around, ignore, or turn to one's own purposes an established process, occurs in Scrum software development. Scrum is a software development methodology that uses self-managing teams and a well-defined process but does not dictate developer practices. It has been shown in previous research that problems with Scrum can cause issues with productivity and software quality. This descriptive phenomenological study specifically examined the ways in which process subversion was experienced by Scrum Masters. The Scrum Master is a coach and facilitator to the development team in Scrum. The study revealed a wide variety of perceptions of the Scrum Master's role as well as sources of subversion ranging from individuals on the development team to the structure of the organization. The study also revealed the creativity used by some Scrum Master in responding to such subversion. This study is important because it fills a gap in the extant literature in dealing with the problems that occur when an organization attempts to use Scrum as its development process, and provides insights that may be helpful in either mitigating the effects of such subversion or preventing it outright.

AdviserRichard Livingood
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Computer engineering; Information technology
Publication Number3632735

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or contact ProQuest Support.