Cybernetic Aspects in the Agile Process Model Scrum – Bogner, Hronek, Wiesinger (2014)

Cybernetic Aspects in the Agile Process Model Scrum

M. Bogner, Maria Hronek, F. Wiesinger

Published in ICSEA 2014 Engineering

Agile process models provide guidelines for modern software development. As one of their main purposes is to complete projects under external influences as successfully as possible, the question arises as to how reliably and routinely given project goals can be achieved by means of such process models. This is all the more relevant as today, unfinished software projects frequently lack certain functionality, or missed project deadlines are still on the daily agenda in software development. Therefore, research has been done to identify the coherences between agile process models and cybernetics. Cybernetics is a natural science based on biocybernetics which forms the basis for well-functioning processes. It was analysed how it helps to cope with complexity, thus allowing for viable complex systems or processes. Cybernetics, as a science of functioning, is also relevant for agile process models. Once the basic cybernetic aspects are applied, processes are kept under control and organized in ways that ensure long-term viability. This paper reports the results of the selected agile representative Scrum. It shows that although some major cybernetic aspects like communication, feedback and circularity are covered, other basic cybernetic principles are missing in Scrum. Yet, these shortcomings can be compensated in order to get essential reliability, especially in critical situations. Keywords–agile software development; Scrum; cybernetics; biocybernetics.

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