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An agile based integrated framework for software development.

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Software development practice has been guided by practitioners and academics along an evolutionary path that extends from a Waterfall approach, characterised as highly prescriptive, to an approach that is agile, embracing the dynamic context in which software is developed. Agile Methodology is informed by a set of generic principles and agile methods that are customised by practitioners to meet the requirements of the environment in which it is used. Insight into the customisation of agile methods is pivotal to uphold the evolutionary trajectory of software development methodology. The study adopted a ‘socio-technical’ orientation to enhance the implementation of Agile Methodology. The social component of the study was aligned to the role played by organisational culture in the adoption of software development methodology. The amorphous concept of organisational culture has been operationalised by implementing the Competing Values Framework to develop a model that aligns organisational culture to an optimal methodology for software development. The technical component of the study has a software engineering focus. The study leveraged experiential knowledge of software development by South African software practitioners to develop a customised version of a prominent agile software development method. The model has been developed so that it is compatible with a variant of organisational culture that is aligned with agile methodology. The study implemented a sequential research design strategy consisting of two phases. The first phase was qualitative consisting of a phenomenological approach to develop the study’s main models. The second phase was quantitative, underpinned by technology acceptance theory, consisting of a survey based approach to determine South African software practitioners’ acceptance of the agile-oriented technical model that was developed in the study. The results from the survey indicated an 80% acceptance of the model proposed in study. Structural Equation Modelling was used to demonstrate that the inclusion of organisational culture as an independent construct improved the predictive capacity of technology acceptance theory in the context of software development methodology adoption. The study’s overall theoretical contribution was to highlight the significance of organisational culture in the implementation of agile methodology and to extend the evolutionary path of software development methodology by proposing an agile oriented model that scales the software process to an organisational infrastructure level.


Doctor of Philosophy in Management. University of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban, 2018.