Measuring Agile Capability: Survey Tool Development and Empirical Pre-Test

Sebastian Engelmann

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Many organisations are adopting agile software development practices as they promise to improve their ability to manage a changing environment. This transformation is often guided by an agile framework such as the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Measurement instruments are an established tool to support transformations and thereby, are beneficial for practice. At the same time, measurement instruments support research by enabling quantitative assessments of the characteristics of organisations. Consequently, this thesis investigates through the lens of the resource-based view how can organizations reliably, comprehensively, and parsimoniously measure their agile capability? In a first step, several agile frameworks are analysed to identify the common practices that form agile capabilities in an organisation. In the second part of this thesis, results from a small sample pre-test are analysed to identify potential issues with the measurement instrument as well as to obtain an indication for the tool’s validity and reliability. The results show that agile practices should be measured on team, program, and portfolio level. Furthermore, measuring agile capabilities based on practices provides a lidded assessment of organisations’ true agile capability. Therefore, the measurement instrument is complemented by an assessment of organisational culture. Future research should implement the findings of this thesis to refine the measurement instrument.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages84
SupervisorsTill J. Winkler