International Journal of Agile Systems and Management (8 papers in press)
Agile Information Technology Service Management with DevOps: An Incident Management Case Study
by João Faustino, Rúben Pereira, Bráulio Alturas
Abstract: This research aims to investigate how DevOps culture can be applied in the incident management process. The authors believe, based on experience as practitioners, that agile software development methodologies are fair enough to be used on Incident Management process, to quickly restore the business interruption. An application management team which solves incidents and applies DevOps practices was studied. Three data collection methods were used: interviews, document analysis and observation. This research provides novel findings supported by metrics and real experience implementing DevOps practices in incident management process. The novelty of the findings brings advantages for academics, and due to the exploratory nature of this research, it extends the body of knowledge. It also provides contributions for practitioners, by showing how these practices can be applied and the result of the implementation of these practices. Directions of future work are also presented.
Keywords: Information Technology; Case Study; Interviews; Document Analysis; Observation; DevOps; Incident Management; Application Management; Agile Methodologies; Service Management.
An improved model of Agile Kanban method: Verification process through experts review
by Hamzah Alaidaros, Mazni Omar, Rohaida Romli
Abstract: This paper presents the verification results of the proposed model for improving the software project-monitoring task of the Agile Kanban method (i-KAM). However, i-KAM is still in its initial phases and requires verification regarding the proposed components and associated criteria. Therefore, expert review method was used to collect valid and reliable data from experienced persons who have skills and experiences in Agile software development. In this study, 11 experts participated and their opinions were obtained and quantified by using descriptive analysis. Results confirm that i-KAM is a well-accepted model as it can improve the progress monitoring task in terms of extending its tracking mechanism, controlling the WIP limits, and providing useful insights on the project status. Thereafter, i-KAM was revised according to the suggestions provided by the experts to enhance its feasibility and to achieve the readability of elements. The implementation of i-KAM in the real software houses would help in delivering software projects within prescribe cost and time.
Keywords: Agile Kanban method; software project monitoring task; verification process; expert review; i-KAM.
Managing reverse exchange in service supply chain using role activity diagram: A case study of credit card complain management
by Tonmoy CHOUDHURY, K. M. Kutub Uddin Romel, Ferry Jie, Hadrian Djajadikerta
Abstract: Service industry is associated with the flow of information and finance. In the past, significant amount of work has been done to address the different issues of direct exchange between service providers and customers. However, research on reverse exchange of service supply chain is still in primitive stage. As there is no exchange of material goods between customers and service providers, quality of service plays a vital role in defining their business. Hence, the reverse exchange between service providers and customer plays a huge role in making service supply chain more sustainable. Banking industry is one of the main segments of service industry. This paper is focused on the credit card complain handling process of a bank in Bangladesh. There were many bottlenecks in the workflow of their complain handling system. The whole process has been modelled using Role activity diagram (RAD) and is demonstrated in the case study.
Keywords: Role Activity Diagram (RAD); Reverse exchange; Credit card service; Service supply chain.
Critical factors for optimisation of performance: The private higher education context in Malaysia
by Josephine Ie Lyn Chan, Rajendran Muthuveloo
Abstract: The study aims to determine the critical factors needed for the private higher education sector in Malaysia to perform well under current turbulent business landscape with intensified competitiveness. The findings revealed that strategic agility is crucial for private higher education institutions (HEIs) as it was found to significantly influence organisational performance. In order to acquire strategic agility, these institutions should develop the three critical factors of technology, organisational capabilities, and people. In the case of technology, private HEIs need to be cautious, as new technology adoption could be affected by different organisational types of private HEIs. This study is original due to the potential adaptive agile manufacturing concepts and the resource combination of critical factors that are rarely examined under the private higher education context in Malaysia. Furthermore, knowing the importance of strategic agility enables practitioners to optimise the right resource combination to achieve organisational performance and sustain their business in the future.
Keywords: organisational performance; strategic agility; critical factors; technology; organisational capabilities; people; organisational type; agile manufacturing; higher education; partial least squares structural equation modelling.
Maturity Model for DevOps
by Daniel Teixeira, Rúben Pereira, Telmo Henriques, Miguel Mira Da Silva, João Faustino, Miguel Silva
Abstract: Businesses today need to respond to customer needs at unprecedented speed. Driven by this need for speed, many companies are rushing to the DevOps movement. DevOps, the combination of Development and Operations, is a new way of thinking in the software engineering domain that recently received much attention. Since DevOps has recently been introduced as a new term and novel concept, no common understanding of what it means has yet been achieved. Therefore, the definitions of DevOps often are only a part relevant to the concept. When further observing DevOps, it could be seen as a movement, but is still young and not yet formally defined. Also, no adoption models or fine-grained maturity models to assist DevOps maturation and implementation were identified. Therefore, this research attempt to fill these gaps. A Systematic Literature Review was performed to identify the determining factors contributing to the implementation of DevOps, including the main capabilities and areas with which it evolves. Then, two sets of interviews with DevOps experts were performed and their experience used to build the DevOps Maturity Model. The DevOps maturity model was then developed grounded on scientific and professional viewpoints. Once developed the Maturity Model was demonstrated in a real organization.
Keywords: DevOps; Maturity Model; CMMI; DevOps Practices; DevOps Areas.
Performance metrics in Scrum software engineering companies
by Fernando Luis Almeida, Pedro Carneiro
Abstract: Finding effective ways to evaluate the process and a team in software engineering is not a trivial task. Therefore, it is pertinent to study metrics that can be used in Scrum environments to monitor and evaluate the team's progress and support the implementation of improvements. This study explores the relevance of 12 specific metrics applied in a Scrum environment and explores their importance considering multiple dimensions through the adoption of a quantitative methodology based on a survey that received 137 valid answers from Portuguese Scrum professionals. The results allowed us to conclude that the metrics related to the business value delivered and sprint goal success are the most relevant. Furthermore, factors like the number of years of experience of individuals, their role in the Scrum team, and the size of the organization are factors that influence the perception of the importance of these metrics.
Keywords: Scrum; Agile; Metrics; Measurements; Software Development; Software Quality.
Structural model of Lean and Cleaner production on manufacturing sustainability performance: Malaysian Manufacturers Perspectives
by Muhamad Zaki Yusup, Wan Hasrulnizzam Wan Mahmood, Mohd Rizal Salleh, Norfaizem Ibrahim
Abstract: In terms of practices, the implementation of Lean and Cleaner Production shared a common focus, aiming to enhance the degree of management efficiency, while reducing the barriers in continuous improvement activities. This positively produced an enormous impact on the performance in economic, environmental and social competency, while improving the level of sustainable manufacturing performance. Using a survey data from 107 respondents consists of Malaysian manufacturers, this study empirically focus to explore and examine the relationships between Lean and Cleaner Production with manufacturing sustainability performance via Structural Equation Modelling-Partial Least Square technique. The results have shown that the implementation of Lean and Cleaner Production produced a significant positive effect on the economic and competency sustainability performance. Although the relationship between Lean and Cleaner Production with environmental sustainability performance is not significant, but through well-intentioned impulses, manufacturing firms could grasp the opportunities in improving the performance of economic, enhancing the social competency and grasp a better environmental friendly practices
Keywords: Lean Production; Cleaner Production; Manufacturing Sustainability; Structural Equation Modelling; SEM-PLS; Malaysia.
Soft skills for newborn software engineers in agile teams
by Suzana Sampaio, Thiago Bastos, Marcelo Marinho
Abstract: Agile methodologies have become an appealing option. The people-centered set of values and principles increases people's factors relevance. Furthermore, an agile environment must enable software engineers to work efficiently, to collaborate, and to share skills. However, these factors are often not fully understood by agile practitioners. This paper investigates the required soft skills for software engineers in an agile team. In order to do that, a comprehensive literature review helped to categorize the soft skills found in the literature. Also, we conducted a survey with 63 software engineers. Based on the respondents profile, the 8 most important skills were selected and they are discussed and included in a software instrument for self-evaluation that also presents some recommendations. The instrument was tested and recommended by a group of software engineers. This research can be used by young software engineers and academic communities to improve the software engineers' soft skills.
Keywords: soft skills; behavioural competence; people factors; agile methodologies; software engineers; agile teams.