Scrum Training for Product Configuration Systems Development

Sara Shafiee, Yves Wautelet

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    Traditional software methodologies such as Waterfall, Spiral, and rational unified process (RUP) propose development models based on a sequential series of activities and steps which are well defined, comprehensive, up-front planned; documented in- detail and extensively designed (Gandomani, Zulzalil, Abdul Ghani, Abu, & Parizi, 2015). Unlike traditional methods, Agile methods embrace change in user requirements and emphasize the customer-centric approach in software development (Rubin, 2012). Agile methods provide different life cycles, roles, and activities compared to the traditional methods (Gandomani et al., 2015) and have been introduced to overcome the traditional methods challenges (Boehm, 2012). One of the important characteristics of the Agile approach in software development is giving priority to people, their roles, and interactions rather than processes and tools (Conboy, Coyle, Xiaofeng Wang, & Pikkarainen, 2011). Due to this feature, people and their roles, responsibilities, and behaviours are the main roots of the differences between Agile and disciplined methods (Javdani Gandomani & Ziaei Nafchi, 2016). Product configuration systems (PCSs) support decision-making processes in the sales and engineering phases of a product with respect to product features and costs (Hvam, Mortensen, & Riis, 2008; Sandrin, Trentin, & Forza, 2018). PCSs enable companies to propose alternatives to facilitate their sales and production process (Felfernig, Hotz, Bagley, & Tiihonen, 2014; Forza & Salvador, 2006). Though product configuration systems have many advantages (Zheng, Xu, Yu, & Liu, 2017); such as shorter lead time (Hvam, Haug, Mortensen, & Thuesen, 2013; Trentin, Perin, & Forza, 2012; Zheng et al., 2017), fewer errors (Heiskala, Paloheimo, & Tiihonen, 2007) increased ability to meet customers’ requirements regarding product functionality (Forza & Salvador, 2002), the use of fewer resources (Forza & Salvador, 2006), optimised product designs (Gronalt, Posset, & Benna, 2007; Trentin et al., 2012), less routine work, and improved on-time delivery (Ardissono et al., 2003; Liu, Shah, & Schroeder, 2006; Squire, Brown, Readman, & Bessant, 2009). Reviewing previous studies shows that inadequate and dysfunctional training makes agile transformation ineffective (Conboy et al., 2011; Vijayasarathy & Turk, 2012). However, training Agile methods during a course will lead to notable confusion and slow down the development progress (Rico & Sayani, 2009). Literature reports training as a critical factor for successful process improvement and without useful training, the improvement is not satisfactory (Niazi, Wilson, & Zowghi, 2006). Moreover, significant correlation between successful implementation of Agile methods and receiving training has been proven (Livermore, 2008). This paper, as an exploratory case study research, evaluates the satisfaction and relevance of Scrum training in one case company specialised in PCS development projects; it investigates the training materials and evaluates the drawbacks and strength of the realized training methods through interviews. The selected company is relevant because of its experiences with PCS projects through various development methods (RUP, and Scrum). This company experienced using RUP for developing PCS projects for five years and their transition to Scrum around three years ago was more a revolution than evolution. Hence, the novelty brought by Scrum and all its benefits and challenges introduce a completely new way of working to the whole team. Moreover, the company involves the researchers to optimize capacity management through improving the Scrum performance. A qualitative case study method is employed. First, the Scrum artefacts for PCS projects are determined in detail and different training steps are introduced. Secondly, we asked the same respondents about the benefits and challenges they face during PCS project while using Scrum.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of NordDesign 2020
    EditorsN.H. Mortensen, C.T. Hansen, M. Deininger
    Number of pages12
    VolumeDS 101
    PublisherDesign Society
    Publication date2020
    ISBN (Electronic)9781912254088
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    EventNordDesign2020 - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 12 Aug 202014 Aug 2020




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