A study of the agile whole team and its effectiveness in the software development process

Matthew Robert Ganis, Pace University


In early 2000 several software development methodologies began to receive increasing public attention. Close collaboration between the development team and the business experts (or product owner) and a constant stream of communication was thought to be paramount. As such, during a development cycle, teams would strive to deliver code as frequently as possible, producing deployable business value with each release at a regular cadence. These methods, known as agile Methodologies have continued to gain considerable interest in the IT community over the last several years. This acceptance is supported by a number of industry surveys indicating the rapid acceptance of these methods in the software development industry. As a result of the formalization of these methodologies, teams will adhere to a number of practices defined within these methods that represent best practices in software development. These practices, when followed, allow a team operate with a higher level of agility and speed to market than traditional methodologies allow for, enabling a rapid response to customer change. Many of these practices are synergistic in nature, increasing their effectiveness when supporting practices are implemented and conversely, causing a decline in their effectiveness when not implemented. While there have been a large number of experience reports produced in the popular literature that detail that the various success rates teams enjoy with these methods, little has been documented on the optimization of the various agile practices and the effect they have on teams. This dissertation examines the effect of the whole team (a practice that emphasizes the need to include all of the subject matter experts and disciplines within the same team) on the morale and productivity of an agile development organization. To date, there has been no empirical evidence that enumerates the effects of a partial whole team (one that is not fully whole) or the supposed benefits of having one that is completely whole. The result of these findings will enable development organizations to consider the composition of their teams, enabling them to optimize in an effort to achieve the maximum results from their endeavors.

Subject Area

Computer science

Recommended Citation

Ganis, Matthew Robert, "A study of the agile whole team and its effectiveness in the software development process" (2009). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3514638.



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