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Critical success factors that influence the performance of agile software development methodologies in organisations.

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The agile manifesto was brought into existence in 2001 and agile as a methodology was derived in the 1990s. The reason for the formulation of this methodology was to create methods to produce software in a better manner that could fulfill the customer’s needs in an environment that was iterative and controlled. The types of agile methodologies being followed are Scrum, extreme project management, adaptive project management, and dynamic project management method and scrum is the most widely utilized. There is insufficient research into the hierarchy of importance of the critical success factors that affect agile projects. Critical success factors of organisational structure, people, process, technical and, project factors have been identified in previous studies, however, the ranking of these factors in terms of the level of importance for agile success has not been studied enough. These critical factors are classified as Technical, Organisational, Process, Project, and People categories. There were suggestions from researchers that test automation and cloud computing can also positively affect the success of a project using agile. Since these two factors were not studied in conjunction with the other critical factors mentioned previously, this study extended previous studies by incorporating these factors. This study expanded the factors by including cloud computing and test automation as possible critical factors to the successful implementation of agile software development. The research method chosen for this study was the quantitative method. The data was collected using questionnaires and was analyzed via descriptive and inferential statistics. To achieve an acceptable statistical power, a sample size of 200 agile practitioners was targeted, but the researcher was able to obtain 110 responses. SPSS version 27.0 was used for the descriptive and inferential data analysis and the statistical tests. The main findings indicated that people, technical factors, and test automation were the top three critical success factors in terms of importance. The project, people, and organisational structure were the top three critical success factors in terms of performance. Cloud computing was found to be less important whereas test automation was found to be an important factor for agile success. Significant gaps were identified between the critical success factors and their performance in organisations. The study recommends that organisations place additional emphasis on the critical success factors that affect agile success and the performance of these factors to close the gap identified in this study. Further recommendations are to provide adequate training in agile processes.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.