The development of a hybrid Agile Software Development Methodology through the integration of Agile Software Development Methodologies with Project Management Methodologies
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Implementing software development projects successfully remains a challenge for many organisations across all industries. Organisations today have to adapt to complex business environments where continuous change and transformation are important factors to project success. The use of traditional software models and methodologies for software development projects has shifted to the adoption of different agile software development methodologies (ASDMs) and project management methodologies (PMMs). These methodologies find it difficult to address all challenges related to software development projects and many organisations end up only adopting one of the two methodologies to implement software development projects. Because organisations differ in so many ways, there is a need to develop a hybrid ASDM based on a combination of ASDMs and PMMs to deliver a suitable and flexible methodology that offers the best of both worlds to organisations according to their unique operating environments. The aim of this study is to develop a hybrid ASDM to enable organisations to execute software development projects effectively. Literature on the most popular PMMs and ASDMs where each methodology was defined and described in detail was investigated. The advantages and disadvantages of each were studied, including areas regarding where and how they are applied. To achieve the objective of the study, PMBOK was selected as the preferred PMM which was integrated with selected ASDMs. The integration delivered a hybrid ASDM that can be customised and used for different organisations and industries based on their unique environments. Different research paradigms and methods were studied to identify and select the most suitable method for the study. A critical social theory paradigm was followed, and action research was selected as the research method. Three cycles of diagnosing, action planning, action taking, evaluating and specifying learning were applied during this study to test and improve the hybrid ASDMs that were selected. Interviews were conducted with the project teams to ensure that a collaborative approach was followed. Feedback from the various teams was incorporated in the study. As part of the action research process, historical projects for a particular organisation were evaluated and used to diagnose the problem areas the organisation experienced in executing software development projects. Three projects were identified to which different hybrid ASDMs were applied. What was learnt from previous cycles was adopted in the following action research cycles to further improve the situation. Each project incorporated the specific organisation’s characteristics after which the delivered projects were evaluated by the project teams. The selected hybrid ASMDs delivered positive results and all three projects were delivered with better results compared to the historical projects. The outcome of the study proposes a hybrid ASDM that can be adapted to various organisations and industries based on their unique characteristics and environments.