Development of a grooming process for an agile software team in the automotive domain

By Ribeiro, F.; Ferreira, A.L.; Tereso, A.; Perrotta, D.

Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing

2018

Abstract

At the present VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world, customer’s requirements demanding companies’ flexibility are growing. At this unstable market pace, and being software one of the fastest growing business areas, it becomes even more difficult to fulfil and adapt the product to changes required by the customer. To overcome this situation, the Agile methodology was created with the purpose of continuously deliver product increment, allowing teams to collect feedback from stakeholders during the process and to adapt their work between work iterations. Bosch Group, and specifically the Development department at Bosch Braga is taking the first steps into adopting the Agile methodology, more specifically Scrum framework. However, considering the dimension of the company, the lack of communication between the teams and the teams’ involvement on the management level are transversal problems. This action research project was meant to find a solution to this problem with the objective of achieving more autonomous and committed teams to their projects. The first step was to define the grooming/ refinement process known in Scrum that teams should follow. Since the impact of its application on all software teams could be huge, it was decided to focus on one team only. The purpose was to collect feedback at the end and then deciding about its application to the remaining teams. The best approach to implement the grooming process for the researcher was to be part of the team, more precisely to be their scrum master. This allowed a better understanding of the team's dynamic and how they managed their work, to smoothly implement the process. This collaborative participation also enabled the improvement of parallel topics that had a large impact on their performance and, of course, on a better implementation of the grooming process. This dissertation is focused on describing the implementation of a grooming process within Scrum and on a specific software team. Moreover, other improvements were implemented as a result of the exercise of research. The feedback from the team was very positive, providing the trigger to extend the process implementation on remaining teams.

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