A Framework for the Implementation of Scrum Methodology to Manage Software Development Projects

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ABSTRACT

The scrum methodology as part of agile project management has recently become a well-liked software development methodology in small/medium software development companies. However, it is remarkably different from the traditional waterfall methodology because it supports communication, flexibility, self-organised and creativity rather than expansive planning and systemised procedures. While its robust effectiveness assures support for the timely conveyance of quality software products, its adoption and utilising success rely on individuals’ willingness to accept the scrum methodology. Consequently, this research aimed to find an effective way to implement Scrum methodology and identify and address the potential challenges that may impact its adoption and utilisation.

This investigation was conducted to identify those factors that may impede the adoption of agile scrum methodology. To achieve this, relevant literature was critically reviewed, and interviews with five company employees in Nigeria were conducted. The interview responses were then analysed utilising thematic analysis.

The study revealed several challenges that may impact the transition and adoption of Scrum methodology, and ways how to tackle/mitigate these challenges were recommended. A framework was developed with recommendations for better understanding to lead the change in the organisation and address the challenges that may impact the successful implementation of Scrum methodology.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Overview

The software development project is a complex process with countless variables and obstacles, which are hard to keep track of simultaneously for maximum efficiency. In order to overcome this hurdle, project developers use systems development methodologies (SDMs) that are essentially a collection of processes and procedures designed with specific obstacles in mind (Tien Fabrianti Kusumasari et al., 2011). As such, these methodologies are limited in responsiveness to changes once the project has begun (Sundararajan and Mahalakshmi, 2013). Many methodologies have been developed along the way to afford flexibility throughout the life of the project. Such methodologies are known as agile methodologies.

Changing from the traditional waterfall methodology to agile project management requires lots of effort and change management, which may take quite some time (Javdani Gandomani and Ziaei Nafchi, 2015). The transition process affects all aspects of the company’s software development sector and acts as a change in the development process. Indeed agile transition involves so many changes in the behaviour of the organisation because of the broad area of change required. Most companies sometimes experience many obstacles, challenges and issues related to management, people, and technical and cultural problems during the process of change (Javdani Gandomani and Ziaei Nafchi, 2015).

1.1.1 Client Company Background and Statement of Problem

TODAY Digital News & Media Limited was established in 2009 as a digital media publishing and software development company. The company is registered and based in the South-South region of Nigeria and currently publish two online media platform- Nigeria Newsdesk and TODAY.ng.

The company has 25 employees, including its principal officers and technical project managers. TODAY.ng has, within a short period, had contracts and sponsorship deals with renowned companies in Nigeria, including the Dangote group of companies, GTBank, Oando and many more.

Software development as part of the company’s services offers powerful software to meet customers’ demands with all the specified requirements while staying within time and budget.

In the past years, the company (TODAY.ng) has experienced constant changes in the sector of software development projects. Customers have been experiencing product delays and, in most cases, delivery failures due to the fact that team communication and collaboration issues occurred through operating with the traditional (waterfall) project management methodology and causing business loss. And these have offered evidence of the durability of agile project management methodologies as a master plan that can accelerate software projects.

1.2 Research Questions and Objectives

  1. What is the most effective way to implement scrum methodology in the organisation?
  2. How will project management’s transferable knowledge and skills of the project team leader affects the successful application and utilisation of agile scrum methodology?
  3. What are the most pertinent challenges in relation to the implementation of scrum methodology?

Objectives: See TOR (Terms of Reference in Appendix 1) for the objectives.

1.3 Limitations

Ideally, any project or investigation is expected to finish within the assigned timeline. However, certain limitations are likely to occur, which may obstruct progress. Hence, it is important to identify those constraints to aid in addressing them. The following constraints shown below were identified:

  • The location of the client, which is in Nigeria, posed several difficulties in face-to-face meetings.
  • Project duration, which was limited to 600hrs.
  • Data collection at some point was a challenge because the selected participants withheld some sensitive information to secure their jobs.
  • The selected participants have no knowledge about the research, which made it more difficult to obtain reliable information needed to facilitate this research.

1.4 Dissertation Structure

This dissertation comprises eight (8) chapters, including the Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Data Analysis, Discussions, Framework and Recommendations, Evaluation and Conclusion.

Chapter one (1), which is the introduction presents the rational for this study, beginning with the world view, client company background, concentrating on the research questions and objectives in order to measure the success and limitations and then followed by the dissertation structure.

Chapter two (2), which is the Literature Review, presents reviews of relevant academic journal articles on agile project management, Traditional software development method (Waterfall) vs scrum methodology, teamwork, project management transferable knowledge and skills when project manager/leader adopt the agile project management method and also the cultural and organisational factors that may impact the scrum transition and adoption with critical discussion.

Chapter three (3) presents the methodology adopted for this research, emphasising the objectives, designing of the interviews and how it was conducted, the sample size selected, method of data collection, methods by which the data was analysed, ethical considerations and the setbacks that were experienced.

Chapter four (4) shows the analysis of results, which includes the themes/groupings created through the thematic process of results presented in this study.

Chapter five (5) presents the discussions of all analysed results from data gathered during the investigation combined with the arguments from reviewed literature.

Chapter six (6) presents this research’s primary purpose: to develop a framework with a set of recommendations to address the rationale of this research.

Chapter seven (7) offers the critical evaluation of the project, including how the objectives of the dissertation were achieved, and also critically evaluates the clients’ requirements.

And finally, Chapter eight (8) concludes the whole project by stating the outcome of this research and future work. Additionally, all relevant lists of references and appendixes will be added as supportive evidence of this research.

References

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A Framework for the Implementation of Scrum Methodology to Manage Software Development Projects