Final Thesis: How and Why to Go Agile (Teaching Case)

Abstract: Software plays a significant role in the context of modern enterprises. CRM, ERP, Billing and Accounting systems are some of the examples of the information system components which have become inseparable parts of daily operations in almost every enterprise. An organization’s specific needs and requirements for information systems are evolving into dozens of software engineering projects that need to be managed. Pursuing the aim to optimize these projects’ outcomes in terms of quality, costs and time, customers and software development teams face a dilemma of choice – which software engineering process model to use?

This thesis, written in the collaboration with the Finnish telecommunication company “Elisa”, reviews this complex situation of a suitable software engineering process model choice. Research is done in the form of a case study which can be in future used as training materials for a product management class. The most valuable input for the research findings was provided by the employees of the technical and business departments from the company “Elisa”, who shared their own personal experience which they gained while closely working with software development projects using different software engineering process models.

The theoretical part of the research reviews currently most commonly used software engineering process models, putting an extra emphasis on the comparison and transition process of the recently most popular methods: Scrum and Kanban. The outcome of this research makes evident that the organization should never limit its processes to the prescription of one tool, but on the contrary must be flexible by constantly adapting the process model to the special needs and background conditions of a specific project.

Keywords: Agile methods, software engineering, Kanban, Scrum

Reference: Ilja Kozevnikov. How and Why to Go Agile. Master Thesis, Friedrich Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2012.