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Adopting Metrics in Large-Scale Agile Software Development (AMSAS)

Last modified Jan 21, 2022


Contemporary business environments are characterized by high unpredictability due to rapidly shifting customer demands and technological advancements, implying that flexibility, adaptability, and learning are crucial to business success. Over the past decades, software has become an integral part of many products and services. To react quickly to changing environments and fluctuating customer requirements, the agile movement emerged in the 1990s, leading to the creation of the Agile Manifesto and many agile methods, such as Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum. Agile methods were originally designed for small, co-located, and self-organizing teams that produce software in close collaboration with business customers, using regular feedback and rapid development iterations. The successful application of agile methods in small projects inspired companies to increasingly adopt agile methods also in large-scale projects and organizations. During the last decade, agile methods have been extended to better fit large-scale settings. Several scaling frameworks have been created both by some custodians of existing agile methods and by others who have worked with companies in scaling agile methods to their settings.

The increasing complexity and organizational scope are prevailing problems in scaling agile. For instance, even if managers have to keep oversight of multiple agile teams, it is not feasible to know the details about each project. Consequently, implementing metrics can support managers by providing transparency. Nonetheless, current research lacks studies concerning metrics in large-scale agile development.


Research Focus and Goals

The AMSAS project goal is the development of a metric catalog containing metrics implemented at MediamarktSaturn in a uniform format. Goals, challenges, and best practices that occur during metric adoption are collected and contribute to the metric catalog. A digital version of the metric catalog is implemented with a prototypical web application to enhance the search for metrics based on their attributes. 


Necessary steps for the objectives are expressed through the research questions below:

  • Which metrics and goals are used in large-scale agile software development?
  • What are the best practices and challenges at implementing metrics in large-scale agile software development? 
  • How can a structured collection of metrics support organizations in large-scale agile software development? 
  • How does a prototypical implementation support organizations in establishing metrics?

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