Challenges to Software Development in Small Firms

The road to...

Introduction

All projects are normally defined as the solution to a certain problem within given frames setting demands concerning price, time, quality and scope. Completing a project requires accessing the given conditions and risks, and every estimate is coupled with an uncertainty which in worst case could lead to project delay or failure of meeting the requirements.

Especially software projects are prone to a higher degree of uncertainty since the end product almost entirely depends on human intellectual processes, resources and interactions. This is why software projects today have to deal with an enormous amount of different process models, many claiming to be the 'silver bullet' of all processes. Since the late 90es the emerging trend has been a move towards the 'light weight' processes, which share the common properties defined in the known 'Agile Manifesto'. The common ground here is to adapt to the inevitable uncertainty by enforcing a loser set of rules than many of the larger processes would.

The purpose of this master thesis is to focus on how project teams handle change in the factors which are most important to the project. And how much attention is given to these factors during the project and which tools/precautions are used when they change. The work will include an examination of the influence the organizational context has on projects and how culture affects the team process. During the thesis theory will be coupled with a case study and other relevant empirical work to help understand and relate the problem to a local context. Furthermore the thesis will include an analysis and evaluation of the agile process Scrum.