Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Self-Organizing Agile Teams: A Grounded Theory

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posted on 2021-11-10, 21:37 authored by Hoda, Rashina

Self-organizing teams are a hallmark of Agile software development, directly a ecting team e ectiveness and project success. Agile software development, and in particular the Scrum method, emphasizes self-organizing teams but does not provide clear guidelines on how teams should become and remain self-organizing. Based on Grounded Theory research involving 58 Agile prac- titioners from 23 di erent software organizations in New Zealand and In- dia, this thesis presents a grounded theory of self-organizing Agile teams. The theory of self-organizing Agile teams explains how software development teams take on informal, implicit, transient, and spontaneous roles and per- form balanced practices while facing critical environmental factors, in order to become self-organizing. The roles are: Mentor, Co-ordinator, Translator, Champion, Promoter, and Terminator. The practices involve balancing free- dom and responsibility, cross-functionality and specialization, and continuous learning and iteration pressure. The factors are senior management support and level of customer involvement. This thesis will help teams and their coaches better understand their roles and responsibilities as a self-organizing Agile team. This thesis will also serve to educate senior management and customers about the importance of supporting these teams


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Computer Science

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Engineering and Computer Science


Noble, James; Marshall, Stuart