Datacom Institute Sales Monitoring System for Apple Products Paper (Apple project final paper)following attached are the instructions , double space, 50 pa

Datacom Institute Sales Monitoring System for Apple Products Paper (Apple project final paper)following attached are the instructions , double space, 50 page minimum , let me know if you have any questions 14.0 Literature Survey
14.1 Introduction
Large software companies use several methodologies for software
development. One such popular methodology in use is the waterfall method. The
waterfall development methodology proceeds linearly through the phases of
requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing (validation), integration and
maintenance (Royce, 1998). The serial approach to product development has a few
disadvantages, notable of which are, the inability to make mid-course corrections
and the lengthy period of development before the product can reach the end user.
Some companies have successfully adopted a more iterative methodology called
the agile development methodology. The agile methodology allows the company to
build the smallest possible useful part and makes it available it to its users (instead
of building the whole product), who provide feedback iteratively on its usefulness.
Agile development is an evolutionary conversation in which incremental steps lead
to feedback that allows requirements to be tested and adjusted. However, with its
heavy emphasis on customer interaction, self-organizing teams, verbalcommunication over-written-documentation, prototyping and requirements
flexibility, it may pose a challenge to implement the agile methodology in large
software companies.
This research will focus on a few areas that will help in implementing agile
methodologies in large software companies. First, it will provide the large company
context to the agile manifesto. Second, it will identify the impediments to
implementing agile methodology in a large software company. Finally, it will identify
best practices and areas where agile can be tuned for adoption by large software
Agile software development is a methodology that prescribes four focal
values, namely, individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working
software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract
negotiation and responding to change over following a plan (Abrahamsson, Salo,
Ronkainen, & Warsta, 2002).
14.2 Individuals and Interactions
Among the focal values of the agile methodology, the most important value
that an organization needs to adopt is in the realm of people factors (Boehm &
Turner, 2003). In existing agile practices this manifests itself in co-located teams
that have excellent communications between them and the central theme is team
spirit (Abrahamsson et al., 2002). In his study about agile methodologies and its
impact on people, Boehm (2003) argues that software engineering is done “of the
people, by the people, and for the people” (p. 4). It could be loosely translated as
people organizing themselves in groups to develop what other people, within or
outside the organization need. He goes on to add that in an agile culture, people
are like craftsmen who feel empowered to solve problems. Agile practitioner Rick
Dove highlights the importance of increased interaction between people as a key
success factor to an organization being agile (Dove, 2001). He succinctly states
that training doesn’t bring as much diversity of thought as better collaboration
among employees does. Boehm (2003), however, cautions that agile methods rely
heavily on communication through tacit, interpersonal knowledge for its success
and hence relying completely on tacit knowledge is like performing without a safety
net. In defining best practices for adaptive systems, the author (Meso, 2006),
presents the argument that organizations that use heavy process in the product
development cycle should look to adopting agile practices if they are to produce
high-quality software in a cost effective and timely manner. In adopting agile the
emphasis is on people and their interactions rather than heavy process.
14.3 Working Software
The second focal value that agile practitioners advocate is emphasis on
working software over comprehensive documentation. Abrahamsson (2002)
emphasizes the need to lessen the documentation down to a minimum by keeping
the code simple, straightforward and self-documenting. The objective of selfdocumenting code is to enable the reader to understand the source code, its design
and function without having prior knowledge of the system. This is achieved
through the use of a set of defined conventions for naming software programs,
functions and variables (Schach, 2002). Boehm (2003), points out that in
traditional waterfall process documentation could become heavy as the process
requires every foreseeable situation to be documented. For example, a user manual
would have to provide guidance to users on every possible error or exception that a
user might encounter. In his book titled Running and Agile Software Development
Project, the author emphasizes creating simple code that is clear and empowers
the target reader with enough detail to change, update, or develop it further with
ease (Holcombe, 2008). Citing the limited utility of comprehensive documentation,
the book Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products, argues that
documentation at best can provide only 15 to 25% of the understanding
(Highsmith, 2004). Highsmith (2004) characterizes documentation as providing
only content and not context. They key takeaway from these readings is agile
software development does not separate code and documentation as two separate
artifacts and that code should be self-documenting.
14.4 Customer Collaboration
Customer collaboration is the single most impactful agile value that brings
the development team and the customer together (Hanssen & Fægri, 2006). In a
longitudinal case study, Hannssen (2006) studied a software company that adopted
agile development methodology and presented his findings showing prerequisites,
benefits, costs and risks in a software product setting. He states that the close
customer cooperation had a highly motivating effect on the developers’ of the
company. Further he observes that, the developers’ confidence has increased as a
result of continuously meeting customer expectations. He concludes that
meaningful engagement of customers is an imperative for innovation in product
development. Another research (Molokken-Ostvold & Furulund, 2007) that studied
the relationship between customer collaboration and software project overruns
concludes that good collaboration with customers, facilitated by frequent
communication, was associated with projects that experienced a lesser magnitude
of effort overruns.
14.5 Responding to Change
Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister, said “change is inevitable,
change is constant” (Lugon & Secker-Walker, 2001). Responding to change is the
fourth focal value of agile development. Agile development is built on a different
change model from that of traditional development models and it assumes
incremental change and continuous improvement (Kelly, 2008). To a company that
is adopting agile methodologies; incremental change means that requirements are
going to change based on frequent feedback and hence will evolve as the
development progresses. As a result of this evolution, improvement based on user
feedback is continuous, unlike traditional models where improvement happens as a
separate development cycle, i.e. post initial development. It is expected that agile
development groups are competent enough to understand the change and have the
authority to make changes as needed during the development lifecycle. A{{}}
review paper (Misra, Kumar, & Kumar, 2008) that provides a conceptual framework
illustrating the relationships between the different predictor variables and agile
software development success, suggests that change is considered expensive in
plan-driven methods. The author provides empirical analysis that show agile
methodologies thriving in high change environments. The benefit of the high
change behavior is it removes the element of surprise when the end user receives
the final product as it has been refined constantly to meet the end users’
requirements. In another review that investigates the benefits and limitations of
agile methods, the authors’ define agility as a means to strip away as much of the
heaviness as possible to promote quick response to changing environments and
changing user requirements (Dybå & Dingsøyr, 2008).
14.6 Impediments to Implementing Agile in Large Software Companies
Hierarchical & Bureaucratic Organization
An organization’s culture could be the first impediment towards adopting
agility. A study conducted by (Iivari, 2007) states that large organizations tend to
have a hierarchical culture that is oriented toward security and order. The emphasis
in such organizations is on control, stability and efficiency through the following of
strict regulations or processes. Managers of these organizations may have to
manage larger teams and this eventually leads to less direct control of their teams
and more indirect control in the form of reports. Eventually this leads to layers
between the accountable manager and the developers. A case study of a financial
organization that develops large-scale, complex software using agile methodologies
validates that deep hierarchical organizational structure results in unresponsive
environments with high inertia (Cao, Mohan, Xu, & Ramesh, 2004). It is to be noted
that there are no agile principles that deal with organization structure and hence
attempting to adopt agile methodologies in an organization with hierarchical
structure and bureaucratic culture may not produce the desired result.
Management Alignment
Adopting agile methodologies is a substantial change and agile implementers
may have to deal with the reality that not everyone is willing or able to change
(Benefield, 2008).
In a retrospective look at her experiences in implementing agile
methodologies at Yahoo!, Benefield (2008) found that 85% of the employees at
Yahoo! were happy with the current state of development and not receptive to
change when she first started the implementation. Getting the management to
align with the change could be challenging especially in large companies where
there are several layers of management. Benefield (2008) found that she would
have gained more acceptance from the management had she been able to educate
them on the agile values early on in the process. In an attempt to cultivate
adoption from the ground-up in a grassroots fashion, Yahoo! adopted agile
methodologies only for certain projects and this lead to a few problems. Some of
the managers from projects that were not adopting agile felt left out and hence
became negative proponents of the program. Also, the decision to train only a few
managers on agile methodologies led to a lack of understanding across the rest of
the organization. This resulted in resistance to its adoption and eventually dismissal
of the methodology. An expected outcome of adopting agile methodologies is teams
that are more self-organized and require less management supervision. The
management will have to be trained to manage the transition from a traditional
command and control model to a decentralized model (McDonald & Welland, 2005).
This is further reinforced by the book Agile Adoption Patterns – A Roadmap to
Organizational Success which studies the progress of agile adoption by a large
software company. The author, Elssamadisy (2008) suggests that a key success
factor for agile adoption is the training of both the development team and the
management on agile methodologies (Elssamadisy, 2008).
Dilution of Core Agile Values
Implementing agile methodologies require discipline and if core values are
diluted or modified there is a danger that agile may not produce the desired result.
Benefield (2008) found that one of impediments to implementing agile is dilution of
the core agile values. She recounts that at one point during the implementation,
many teams were claiming they were using agile techniques, but were actually
dropping key elements such as the daily meeting. Another core value that could be
diluted is the equal participation of all team members. Agile espouses the
importance of cohesive teams, the empowerment of these teams, and the collective
ownership and self-evaluation of work by the team. However, this value could be
diluted when individual members of a team demonstrate a tendency not to work as
hard as they could or should (McAvoy & Butler, 2009). The phenomenon is termed
“social loafing” and occurs because the team provides a degree of anonymity and
hence the individual feels their lack of work will be hidden from evaluation within
the overall output of the team.
Access to Customers
Customer involvement and collaboration is a key factor for successful
adoption of agile methodologies. However, in reality, access to customers is often
difficult. This is due to a variety of reasons. In large projects, the customers may be
from a variety of domains and hence challenging to access all of them at one time.
In a distributed project the developers may be spread across several locations and
hence without direct access to the customer. Sometimes accessible customers are
often not the end users of the system. There might also be occasions where the
software being developed maybe a product for which the end user is still unknown.
In a study at IBM, that discusses the positive and negative forces that affect the
adoption of agile software development in a project, the authors’ highlight the nonavailability of an onsite customer as a major disadvantage (Grossman, Bergin, Leip,
Merritt, & Gotel, 2004). Despite having a product manager representing several
different stakeholder groups, the development team struggled without interaction
with the customer.
Scalability of Agile Methodologies
Critics of the agile methodology have questioned its scalability. They point
out that with larger teams, the number of communication lines that have to be
maintained can reduce the effectiveness of agile practices (Turk, France, & Rumpe,
2002). In his book Agile Software Development – The Cooperative Game, Cockburn
addresses the issue of agile development not scaling for large organizations
(Cockburn, 2007). He states that a well-structured, 10-programmer team using
agile methodology may be able to solve a larger problem than a 30-person team
using a larger methodology. Another view on scaling agile teams is expressed by
Highsmith in his book. His recommendation is to avoid scaling the project based on
hierarchy, control, documents and ceremony as this will lead to compliance
activities to dominate delivery as each level in the hierarchy justifies their existence
(Highsmith, 2004).
14.7 Tuning Agile Values to Work in Large Software Companies
Flat Technology Organization
In his book titled Organization Patterns, Coplien (2006) discussed how large
organizations tend to build deep hierarchical structure which results in unresponsive
environments. Though agile methodologies do not dictate an organization structure,
it demands increased and frequent communication between stakeholders. Coplien
(2006) adds that a slim and flat organization is expected to be more responsive due
to the reduced layers of management. Iivari (2007), in his study, states that for
organizations to successfully adopt agile development they require a flat
organization with lighter process and less bureaucracy. He adds that a flat
development organization empowers developers to make technical decisions and
promotes decentralized development-oriented decision-making. He cautions that
the empowerment should be controlled in an elegant manner through the
committed use of standard interfaces and design patterns.
Another aspect of an agile software organization is the technical leadership skills.
An experimental study conducted in Norway suggests that software professionals in
technical leadership roles provided better time estimates for software projects and
were better equipped to make quick technical decisions than those leaders with a
non-technical background (Moløkken & Jørgensen, 2005). The study also attributes
the performance of non-technical leaders to their lack in depth knowledge in
technical details. A key take away from the study is that human resource
management differs in agile software development and hence the leadership
requires people with technical knowledge and experience.
Design Patterns and Framework Development
An aspect that large software companies are challenged with while adopting
agile methodologies is upfront architecture and design. Traditional software
development methodologies consider upfront architecture and design as essential
for the successful implementation of a software project. On the contrary, there is
an emphasis on iterative architecture and design while developing using the agile
methodologies. To facilitate iterative development without the full architectural
design, agile uses the concept of a metaphor to describe the basic elements and
relationships of an application (Beck & Andres, 2004). A method to achieve iterative
design but yet have a solid foundation to build on is to identify design patterns
within the product domain and build a framework for each of the design patterns
(Gamma, Helm, Johnson, & Vlissides, 1995). Gamma (1995) recommends that
once the framework has been built for a pattern, the application functionality can
be built iteratively on top of the framework with relative ease and speed.
Strong Product Management Organization
There is a need for continuous customer engagement in agile development
projects and direct access to customers is not always available. The problem could
be overcome by having a strong product management team that will act as proxy
to the real customers. An agile project treats dates and budgets as fixed and hence
scope is the only variable. A core responsibility of the product manager is to
determine the scope of features and the depth of each feature that is required in
the product. The scope can be determined only with extensive customer input
throughout the project. There is also the need to set the scope priorities up-front,
and continually refine them throughout the project. Refinement keeps the priorities
synchronized with the changing view of dependencies, complexity and the ability to
execute, as the project progresses. Product managers are also expected to meet
with the development team frequently and iterate over requirements, negotiate and
modify them as required. These meetings could also be used to make decisions on
development options. The practice of frequent meetings with the product manager
led to better project outcomes when compared to projects that had infrequent
customer engagement (Glazer, 2001).
Creating an Agile Community
Margaret Mead, an American cultural anthropologist, said “Never doubt that a
small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing
that ever has” (Sergiovanni, 1996). Organizational change takes time and in the
middle of change, the change itself is not evident and probably doesn’t move as
fast as organizations would like it to (Silva & Doss, 2007). Adopting agile requires
perseverance and continued reinforcement. Further, the adoption of agile exposes
several organization issues and they have to be resolved by a collective group of
engaged and committed people. An agile community of like-minded people who can
provide support and mentoring for projects and the organization will go a long way
in ensuring successful adoption. This community should evolve into an influential
body of change agents, which routinely meets to address team or organizational
initiatives in agile projects across the enterprise.
Code Review Culture
In an agile environment, the development team is expected to make
frequent high quality releases to its end users. In traditional processes quality is
ensured by a quality assurance team. However, the serial …
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