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"Modeling Dynamics of Agile Software Development"
Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications
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  > Doctoral Symposium

Modeling Dynamics of Agile Software Development

Lan Cao, Georgia State University

Agile software development challenges the traditional way of software development and project management. Strong interest among researchers and practitioners has generated substantial literature and debate over the agile approach and has even prompted traditional, plan based approaches to consider ways to make them agile. However, current research on the applicability and effectiveness of agile methods is fragmented and limited to selected aspects such as pair programming. My research seeks to address this void in current literature by developing an integrative simulation model using system dynamics based on both quantitative and qualitative data collected from real projects.

The primary objective of my dissertation is to develop an integrative view of agile software development to enhance our understanding and make predictions about the agile process. By modeling the dynamics of agile software development process, the applicability and effectiveness of agile methods will be investigated, and the impact of agile practices on project performance in terms of quality, schedule, cost, customer satisfaction will be examined.

My system dynamics simulation model of agile software development integrates the essential practices in agile development such as agile planning, short iterations, customer involvement, refactoring, and pair programming. These practices are modeled in four sub-models: Agile Planning and Control, Refactoring and Quality of Design, Change Management, and Customer Behavior. The model describes the behavior generated by the interaction of agile practices and their impact on critical project variables including project scope, schedule, and cost.