The links between agile practices, interpersonal conflict, and perceived productivity
Paper in proceeding, 2017
Agile processes explicitly focus more on team-work than more traditional management techniques when building software. With high velocity and responsiveness on team-level come the risk of interpersonal conflict in the agile organizations. Through a survey with 68 software developers from three large Swedish companies, I found that the presence of interpersonal conflict was negatively connected to the agile practices Iterative Development and Customer Access. The agile practices Iteration Planning and Iterative Development were positively linked to the measurement of the developers' perceived team productivity. However, Continuous Integration & Testing was negatively connected to productivity. These results show which agile practices are directly linked to team productivity, but also, and more importantly, indicate which of the agile practices that might be more prone to not work as intended, when the team struggles with interpersonal conflict. Therefore, I argue that members of agile teams need training in conflict resolution techniques in order to lower the risk of interpersonal conflict negatively affecting team productivity.