6 Top Success Factors for Agile Software Projects


Dr Matt Roach

There are many factors to consider when undertaking an agile software development. If you have ever wondered which are the key factors that you would need to focus on and why, here is the answer. This article also suggests the significance of the most influential factors compared to others too.

Software Success Measurements: Scope, Quality, Time, Cost

Measurements of software development success

In this post I present my summary of a piece of research conducted by Tsun Chow & Dac-Buu Cao on critical success factors in agile software developments. The success of software developments can be measured in may ways. The four criteria used to measure the success of a software development in this study are: Quality, Scope, Time and Cost. The top influential factors in the success of an agile project are:

  1. Correct Delivery Strategy - Considered to be the most influential factor on the success of a project and has a significant influence on Scope, Timeliness and Costs of the development.
  2. Agile Engineering Techniques - Considered to be the second most critical influential factor and impacts the Quality and Scope of the project.
  3. High-Calibre Team -  The final factor that is considered to be critical to the overall success of the project and directly impacts the Timeliness and Cost of the project.
  4. Good Agile Project Management Process -  The fourth most influential factor and is concluded to have a specific impact on the  Quality of the project.
  5. Agile-Friendly Team Environment also has an impact on Quality.
  6. SCRUM certified - WorkshopStrong Customer Involvement – is shown, perhaps not unexpected, to impact on Scope.

Interestingly the study also concluded that factors often widely considered to influence the success of an agile project, namely: strong executive support, strong sponsor commitment, ready availability of physical Agile facility or Agile-appropriate project types, could not be attributed to success in the software developments studied.

This study was conducted using 109 varied software projects via a web-based survey. One of a small number of limitations of the study cited by the authors, is that a not all agile approaches were represented in the study and over 50% of the projects used an extreme programming (XP) approach.

The full study is published by Science Direct.  I would like to hear from you what, in your experience, are the critical success factors in your software developments?

If you would like to learn more about Agile and SCRUM project management methodologies we recommend our "Certified SCRUM Product Owner" course taking place on March 18th in Swansea.  Register your place here.

Article by Dr Matt Roach, Software Alliance Wales

Email: m.roach@softwarealliancewales.com