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European Journal Of Information Systems
Customising Agile Methods to Software Practices at Intel Shannon
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agile methods software development XP Scrum method tailoring method engineering Intel INFORMATION-SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT EMERGENCE BUSINESS
Tailoring of methods is commonplace in the vast majority of software development projects and organisations. However, there is not much known about the tailoring and engineering of agile methods, or about how these methods can be used to complement each other. This study investigated tailoring of the agile methods, eXtreme programming (XP) and Scrum, at Intel Shannon, and involved experienced software engineers who continuously monitored and reflected on these methods over a 3- year period. The study shows that agile methods may individually be incomplete in supporting the overall development process, but XP and Scrum complement each other well, with XP providing support for technical aspects and Scrum providing support for project planning and tracking. The principles of XP and Scrum were carefully selected (only six of the 12 XP key practices were implemented, for example) and tailored to suit the needs of the development environment at Intel Shannon. Thus, the study refutes the suggestion that agile methods are not divisible or individually selectable but achieve their benefits through the synergistic combination of individual agile practices; rather, this study shows that an a la carte selection and tailoring of practices can work very well. In the case of Scrum, some local tailoring has led to a very committed usage by developers, in contrast to many development methods whose usage is limited despite being decreed mandatory by management. The agile practices that were applied did lead to significant benefits, including reductions in code defect density by a factor of 7. Projects of 6-month and 1-year duration have been delivered ahead of schedule, which bodes well for future ability to accurately plan development projects.
DOI 10.1027/palgrave.ejis.300605
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