An Exploration of the Use of Gamification in Agile Software Development


Although Project Management has existed for many millennia, software project management is relatively new. As a discipline, software project management is considered difficult. The reasons for this include that software development is non-deterministic; opaque and delivered under ever-increasing time pressure in a volatile environment. Evolving from Incremental and Iterative Development (IID), Agile methodologies have attempted to address these issues by focusing on frequent delivery; working closely with the customer; being responsive to change and preferring working software to extensive documentation. This focus on delivery rather than documentation has sometimes been misrepresented as no documentation, which has led to a shortfall in project metrics. Gamification has its roots in motivation. The aim of gamification is to persuade users to behave in a manner set out by the designer of the gamification. This is achieved by adding game mechanics or elements from games into non-game applications. This dissertation examines the use of gamification in Agile projects and includes an empirical experiment that examines the use of gamification on Agile project tracking. Project tracking is an element of software engineering that acts as a de-motivator for software engineers. Software Engineers are highly motivated by independence and growth, while project tracking is seen as boring work. The dissertation experiment identifies a methodology for applying gamification experiments and then implements an experiment. The result was an overall improvement in project tracking. The experiment needs to be expanded to be run over a longer period of time and a more varied group of development teams

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This paper was published in Arrow@dit.

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