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Saeeda, H., Ahmad, M. O. & Gustavsson, T. (2024). A Multivocal Literature Review on Non-Technical Debt in Software Development: An Insight into Process, Social, People, Organizational, and Culture Debt. e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, 18(1), Article ID 240101.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Multivocal Literature Review on Non-Technical Debt in Software Development: An Insight into Process, Social, People, Organizational, and Culture Debt
2024 (English)In: e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, ISSN 1897-7979, E-ISSN 2084-4840, Vol. 18, no 1, article id 240101Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Software development encompasses various factors beyond technical considerations. Neglecting non-technical elements like individuals, processes, culture, and social and organizational aspects can lead to debt-like characteristics that demand attention. Therefore, we introduce the non-technical debt (NTD) concept to encompass and explore these aspects. This indicates the applicability of the debt analogy to non-technical facets of software development. Technical debt (TD) and NTD share similarities and often arise from risky decision-making processes, impacting both software development professionals and software quality. Overlooking either type of debt can lead to significant implications for software development success. The current study conducts a comprehensive multivocal literature review (MLR) to explore the most recent research on NTD, its causes, and potential mitigation strategies. For analysis, we carefully selected 40 primary studies among 110 records published until October 1, 2022. The study investigates the factors contributing to the accumulation of NTD in software development and proposes strategies to alleviate the adverse effects associated with it. This MLR offers a contemporary overview and identifies prospects for further investigation, making a valuable contribution to the field. The findings of this research highlight that NTD's impacts extend beyond monetary aspects, setting it apart from TD. Furthermore, the findings reveal that rectifying NTD is more challenging than addressing TD, and its consequences contribute to the accumulation of TD. To avert software project failures, a comprehensive approach that addresses NTD and TD concurrently is crucial. Effective communication and coordination play a vital role in mitigating NTD, and the study proposes utilizing the 3C model as a recommended framework to tackle NTD concerns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Technical University of Wroclaw, 2024
Keywords
Systematic reviews and mapping studies, Software quality
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-97739 (URN)10.37190/e-Inf240101 (DOI)001100716000001 ()
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2023-12-22 Created: 2023-12-22 Last updated: 2023-12-22Bibliographically approved
Ahmad, M. O. & Gustavsson, T. (2024). Nexus Between Psychological Safety and Non-Technical Debt in Large-Scale Agile Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Development. In: Aleksander Jarzębowicz, Ivan Luković, Adam Przybyłek, Mirosław Staroń, Muhammad Ovais Ahmad, Mirosław Ochodek (Ed.), Aleksander Jarzębowicz, Ivan Luković, Adam Przybyłek, Mirosław Staroń, Muhammad Ovais Ahmad, Mirosław Ochodek (Ed.), Software, System, and Service Engineering: . Paper presented at 24th Conference on Practical Aspects of and Solutions for Software Engineering, KKIO, Warsaw, Poland, September 17–20 September, 2023. (pp. 63-81). Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nexus Between Psychological Safety and Non-Technical Debt in Large-Scale Agile Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Development
2024 (English)In: Software, System, and Service Engineering / [ed] Aleksander Jarzębowicz, Ivan Luković, Adam Przybyłek, Mirosław Staroń, Muhammad Ovais Ahmad, Mirosław Ochodek, Springer, 2024, p. 63-81Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Psychological safety, a pivotal factor in team dynamics, has been proposed as a crucial determinant of success in agile software development (ASD) teams and learning. However, the extent of its influence within the domain of large-scale agile (LSA) software development teams remains underexplored. This research investigates the multifaceted dimensions of psychological safety within LSA teams, examining both its precursors and outcomes. This study conducted semi-structured interviews with software professionals actively involved in LSA projects within a Swedish software consultancy company. The findings underscore the intricate nature of establishing a psychologically safe environment within LSA teams, revealing it as a multidimensional construct necessitating a proactive leadership approach, fostering open communication, and cultivating an ecosystem of constructive feedback. The study highlights the critical importance of intentionally shaping teams to facilitate continuous learning, ensuring remuneration safety, and implementing a comprehensive onboarding process for incoming team members. By fostering psychologically safe settings, LSA teams enhanced teamwork dynamics, heightened job satisfaction, and facilitation continuous learning and development. Notably, the absence of such an environment exacerbates the phenomenon of brain drain, exposing the tangible consequences of overlooking this fundamental aspect of organizational culture. This study proposes avenues for future research directions, aiming to further unravel the nuances of psychological safety and its cascading effects within the realm of contemporary LSA software development context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024
Series
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, ISSN 1865-1348, E-ISSN 1865-1356 ; 499
Keywords
Psychological safety, Non-technical debt, Agile, Large-scale, Software development, ERP
National Category
Software Engineering Applied Psychology
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-97952 (URN)10.1007/978-3-031-51075-5_3 (DOI)2-s2.0-85181983684 (Scopus ID)978-3-031-51075-5 (ISBN)978-3-031-51074-8 (ISBN)
Conference
24th Conference on Practical Aspects of and Solutions for Software Engineering, KKIO, Warsaw, Poland, September 17–20 September, 2023.
Projects
NODLA
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20200253Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse
Available from: 2024-01-08 Created: 2024-01-08 Last updated: 2024-02-02Bibliographically approved
Ahmad, M. O. & Gustavsson, T. (2024). The Pandora's box of social, process, and people debts in software engineering. Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, 36(2), Article ID e2516.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Pandora's box of social, process, and people debts in software engineering
2024 (English)In: Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, ISSN 2047-7473, E-ISSN 2047-7481, Vol. 36, no 2, article id e2516Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In software engineering, technical debt (TD) has been widely investigated, but debt regarding social issues, people, and processes has not been explored as much. It should be noted here that we use nontechnical debt (NTD) as an umbrella term to cover social, process, and people debts. Although the number of studies on NTD in software is increasing, the majority of them are descriptive rather than rigorous, and there is no systematic development of cumulative knowledge. As a result, identifying the fundamental causes of NTD and the associated mitigation techniques in software engineering is challenging. Therefore, this study investigates the scientific evidence regarding NTD till date by conducting a systematic mapping review of software engineering research between January 2000 and October 2021. The search strategy resulted in 175 studies, 17 of which were identified as unique and relevant primary papers. The primary studies show that NTD and TD are inextricably linked. In addition, this study also captured a plethora of causes and mitigation strategies for managing NTD and thus makes four important contributions: (i) highlighting state-of-the-art NTD research; (ii) identification of the reported causes and mitigation strategies in the primary papers; and (iii) determination of opportunities for future NTD research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2024
Keywords
agile, people debt, process debt, social debt, software development, systematic mapping review
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-92277 (URN)10.1002/smr.2516 (DOI)000865285100001 ()2-s2.0-85139397546 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Karlstad UniversityKnowledge Foundation
Available from: 2022-10-27 Created: 2022-10-27 Last updated: 2024-02-22Bibliographically approved
Johansson, B., Jaadla, H. & Gustavsson, T. (2023). A DSR Study on Iterative Tool Development to Measure IT Process Maturity in an Agile Context. In: Gheorghe Cosmin Silaghi, Robert Andrei Buchmann, Virginia Niculescu, Gabriela Czibula, Chris Barry, Michael Lang, Henry Linger, Christoph Schneider (Ed.), ISD 2022: Advances in Information Systems Development. Paper presented at 30th International Conference on Information Systems Development, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, August 31- September 2, 2022. (pp. 1-17). Springer, 63
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A DSR Study on Iterative Tool Development to Measure IT Process Maturity in an Agile Context
2023 (English)In: ISD 2022: Advances in Information Systems Development / [ed] Gheorghe Cosmin Silaghi, Robert Andrei Buchmann, Virginia Niculescu, Gabriela Czibula, Chris Barry, Michael Lang, Henry Linger, Christoph Schneider, Springer, 2023, Vol. 63, p. 1-17Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the design of a tool for recurring quantitative self-assessment of IT Service Management (ITSM) process maturity in a financial institution implementing agile software development as a new way of working. This change brought on an increased need to monitor ITSM process performance, and a Design Science Research (DSR) project was launched to create an ITSM maturity assessment tool. Continual improvement of ITSM processes can be measured by performing a process maturity assessment, comparing the organization’s process performance against a best-practice reference set of processes. This paper reports a development project for a quantitative measuring survey-based tool. Due to the increasing use of agile methods, there is an increase in research attention to the coexistence of agile and ITSM maturity assessment tools. The results show that a company-wide ITSM process maturity assessment can be established as a survey-based self-assessment in an agile software development context. The aggregate scores from this self-assessment present a good indicator of the organization’s process performance, especially when complemented by a reference score. A key learning is that the iterative DSR methodology made it possible to create a tool that in good way measure ITSM process maturity in an agile context. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2023
Series
Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation, ISSN 2195-4968, E-ISSN 2195-4976
Keywords
ITSM, IT service management, IT maturity, Process maturity, Quantitative self-assessment
National Category
Information Systems Software Engineering
Research subject
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-96293 (URN)10.1007/978-3-031-32418-5_1 (DOI)2-s2.0-85164918909 (Scopus ID)
Conference
30th International Conference on Information Systems Development, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, August 31- September 2, 2022.
Available from: 2023-08-09 Created: 2023-08-09 Last updated: 2023-08-09Bibliographically approved
Ahmad, M. O., Gustavsson, T. & Saeeda, H. (2023). Customised Roles in Scrum Teams for the Development of Secure Solution. In: 2023 49th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA): . Paper presented at 49th Euromicro Conference Series on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, Durres, Albania, September 6-8 , 2023. (pp. 362-369). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Customised Roles in Scrum Teams for the Development of Secure Solution
2023 (English)In: 2023 49th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023, p. 362-369Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This research paper examines the implementation and impact of customised roles in large-scale agile software development teams, specifically within the Scrum framework. This is a single case study based on 15 practitioners’ interviews from a Swedish software company to review the dynamics of role customisation. The two customised roles of Product Guardians and Security Masters are crucial for addressing complex secure software development, maintaining product quality and security, and fostering team self-organisation. The study also uncovers challenges associated with role customisation, such as the potential overburdening of individuals and disruption of self-organisation. The findings contribute to the discourse on agile methods' adaptability and provide practical insights for organisations considering similar role customisations. Furthermore, the research opens the door for future exploration of organization-wide roles that promote self-organisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023
Keywords
Agile, large-scale agile, Secure Solution, Scrum, Customised Roles, Product Guardian, Security Masters
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-97703 (URN)10.1109/SEAA60479.2023.00062 (DOI)2-s2.0-85183325006 (Scopus ID)979-8-3503-4235-2 (ISBN)979-8-3503-4236-9 (ISBN)
Conference
49th Euromicro Conference Series on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, Durres, Albania, September 6-8 , 2023.
Funder
Knowledge FoundationHelge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse
Available from: 2023-12-13 Created: 2023-12-13 Last updated: 2024-02-19Bibliographically approved
Saeeda, H., Ahmad, M. O. & Gustavsson, T. (2023). Identifying and Categorizing Challenges in Large-Scale Agile Software Development Projects: Insights from Two Swedish Companies. ACM SIGAPP Applied Computing Review, 23(2), 23-43
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identifying and Categorizing Challenges in Large-Scale Agile Software Development Projects: Insights from Two Swedish Companies
2023 (English)In: ACM SIGAPP Applied Computing Review, ISSN 1559-6915, E-ISSN 1931-0161, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 23-43Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We conducted a case study to examine the challenges encountered in large-scale agile development (LSAD) within two Swedish software companies. While agile methodologies have proven successful in small and medium-sized projects, their implementation in large-scale software development projects can be problematic. To identify these challenges, we employed thematic analysis, which revealed a total of 26 distinct challenges. These challenges were categorized into three main themes: Processes and practices, Teams, and Organizational-level challenges in LSAD. By recognizing and addressing these challenges, projects operating in similar contexts can synchronize their activities and harness the advantages of agile methodologies at a large scale. The article delves into comprehensive discussions on these challenges, offering valuable insights and directions for future research endeavors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2023
Keywords
Large-scale Agile, Agile software development, Software development, empirical studies, software companies
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-96397 (URN)10.1145/3555776.3577662 (DOI)001035775600002 ()
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2023-08-17 Created: 2023-08-17 Last updated: 2023-08-17Bibliographically approved
Saeeda, H., Ahmad, M. O. & Gustavsson, T. (2023). Multivocal Literature Review on Non-Technical Debt in Software Development: An Exploratory Study. In: Hermann Kaindl, Mike Mannion, Leszek Maciaszek (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering, ENASE: . Paper presented at 18th International Conference on Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering, Prague,Czech Republic, April 24-24, 2023. (pp. 89-101). SciTePress, 2023-April
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multivocal Literature Review on Non-Technical Debt in Software Development: An Exploratory Study
2023 (English)In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering, ENASE / [ed] Hermann Kaindl, Mike Mannion, Leszek Maciaszek, SciTePress, 2023, Vol. 2023-April, p. 89-101Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Earlier research has focused on technical debt (TD). While numerous issues connected to non-technical aspects of software development (SD) that are equally worthy of”debt” status are neglected. Simultaneously, these types of debts regularly develop significant challenges to be addressed, demonstrating that the debt metaphor may be used to reason about elements other than technical ones. It motivates us to create the new umbrella term”Non-Technical Debt” (NTD) to investigate people, processes, culture, social, and organizational concerns under its cover. All types of debt are similar in some ways, and they are often caused by making risky decisions. Therefore, ignoring any one dimension of debt can have severe consequences on the successful completion of SD projects. This study investigates recent literature on the current state of knowledge about NTD, its causes, and mitigation strategies. By using a thematic analysis approach, we found five NTD types (i.e., people, process, culture, social, and organizational). We further identified their accumulation causes and discussed remedies for mitigation. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SciTePress, 2023
Keywords
Information use, Literature reviews, Multivocal literature review, Non-technical debt, Organisational, Organizational debt, People debt, Process debt, Social debt, Systematic Review, Technical debts, Software design
National Category
Software Engineering Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-95205 (URN)10.5220/0011772300003464 (DOI)2-s2.0-85160542501 (Scopus ID)978-989-758-647-7 (ISBN)
Conference
18th International Conference on Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering, Prague,Czech Republic, April 24-24, 2023.
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2023-06-12 Created: 2023-06-12 Last updated: 2023-06-12Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, T. (2023). The impact of agile coordination practices on conditions for successful coordination. International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 16(3), 347-367
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of agile coordination practices on conditions for successful coordination
2023 (English)In: International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, ISSN 1741-9174, E-ISSN 1741-9182, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 347-367Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Large-scale agile frameworks suggest several practices for coordination between teams in software development projects. These prescribed coordination practices are often described as how to be performed in detail but without explaining the intended impacts. At the same time, agile values emphasise the need for tailoring practices that are not helpful. This study examines how three agile coordination practices influence accountability, predictability, and common understanding, which are important conditions for coordination. A qualitative research strategy was used to investigate three case organisations that implemented the scaled agile framework (SAFe): one bank, one government agency, and one department within the automotive industry. The empirical data consists of 28 semi-structured interviews and observations. The findings show the differing impacts of three investigated agile coordination practices and how the tailoring of practices affects coordination. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
InderScience Publishers, 2023
Keywords
agile practices, agile software development, agile systems, coordination practices, inter-team coordination, project management
National Category
Software Engineering Business Administration
Research subject
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-96668 (URN)10.1504/IJASM.2023.132470 (DOI)2-s2.0-85168722128 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-09-11 Created: 2023-09-11 Last updated: 2023-09-11Bibliographically approved
Kettunen, P., Gustavsson, T., Laanti, M., Tjernsten, A., Mikkonen, T. & Männistö, T. (2022). Agile Enterprise Transformations: Surveying the Many Facets of Agility for the Hybrid Era. In: Callico G.M., Hebig R., Wortmann A. (Ed.), : . Paper presented at 48th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA 2022),Gran Canaria,August 31 - September 2, 2022. (pp. 157-160). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Agile Enterprise Transformations: Surveying the Many Facets of Agility for the Hybrid Era
Show others...
2022 (English)In: / [ed] Callico G.M., Hebig R., Wortmann A., Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2022, p. 157-160Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Agile companies are not uniform. Consequently, agile transformations are conceived broadly, ranging from adopting agile methods and practices in software development teams or functions to building all-encompassing enterprise agility. Moreover, the targeted effects of agility may vary, and the success of transformations and the attainment of agility are measured in various ways. In this paper, based on a recent industrial survey study, we scrutinize holistically why companies want to transform, what types of agility they are aiming at, and how they gauge transformations. The survey data was collected during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Most of the respondents were in large or very large companies in Finland and Sweden in diverse industry domains. The main findings indicate that there are many reasons for companies to transform both to improve external outcomes (fore mostly responsiveness) and to develop internal capabilities (adaptability, organizational learning). Companies seemed to have aims and goals with respect to all types of agility, including business agility. As the nature of transformations and the companies’ aims and goals vary, the transformations follow various means and measures. As a conclusion, for the hybrid era, we advise companies to consider how agility has benefited during the pandemic era, how hybrid work possibly affects the goals for agile transformations and the different facets of agility, and how to sustain agility in hybrid work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2022
Keywords
Agile companies, Agile enterprise, Agile transformations, Business agility, Enterprise agility, Enterprise transformation, Hybrid work, Industry-academia research, Large-scale agile, Large-scales, Software design
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-93848 (URN)10.1109/SEAA56994.2022.00032 (DOI)2-s2.0-85147654853 (Scopus ID)978-1-6654-6152-8 (ISBN)978-1-6654-6153-5 (ISBN)
Conference
48th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA 2022),Gran Canaria,August 31 - September 2, 2022.
Available from: 2023-03-06 Created: 2023-03-06 Last updated: 2023-03-06Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, T., Berntzen, M. & Stray, V. (2022). Changes to team autonomy in large-scale software development: a multiple case study of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) implementations. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management, 10(1), 29-46
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changes to team autonomy in large-scale software development: a multiple case study of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) implementations
2022 (English)In: International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management, ISSN 2182-7796, E-ISSN 2182-7788, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 29-46Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Large-scale transformations of agile ways of working have received more attention in the industry in recent years. Some organizations have developed their own solutions for scaling, whereas many have chosen trademarked frameworks. In large-scale agile software development, many developers and development teams carry out work simultaneously. When autonomous teams need to coordinate toward a common goal, they must sacrifice some level of autonomy. Development, testing, and integrations need to be coordinated with other teams and aligned with an organization's programs or portfolio. Through the conducting of 28 interviews and 17 on-site visits, this multiple case study explored how team autonomy changed in three agile software development organizations that implemented the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). The positive changes to team autonomy that they experienced as a result included getting a better overview, making better long-term decisions, giving and receiving help, and signaling limitations. We found two negative impacts on team autonomy: limited feature choice and enforced refinement. The study extends previous research on large-scale agile software development and improves our understanding of impacts on team autonomy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Scika, 2022
Keywords
agile software development, team autonomy, Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe, large-scale agile
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-89665 (URN)10.12821/ijispm100102 (DOI)000782130200003 ()2-s2.0-85128477510 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-04-28 Created: 2022-04-28 Last updated: 2023-11-21Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-1512-6592

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