Autonomy in remote working Scrum Development Teams’ productivity post-COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand

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Aballe, Gina
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Master of Applied Management
Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga - NZ Institute of Skills and Technology
Skelton, Lorraine
Alam, Shafiq
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
Scrum (Computer software development)
software development
project teams
remote collaboration
COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-
Aballe, G.(2023). Autonomy in remote working Scrum Development Teams’ productivity post-COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Management). Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
The software development industry experienced both advantages and disadvantages of remote working, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in terms of Scrum Development Team collaboration and productivity. While remote work is not a new phenomenon in this industry, extensive research has explored its impact on both workers and organisations, shedding light on various aspects of the remote working experience. However, majority of these research were conducted primarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, when mobility restrictions were imposed, resulting in limited access to schools, non-essential workplaces, and recreational activities. Workers found themselves confined to their homes, navigating the delicate balance between personal and organisational responsibilities, relying on autonomy as a benefit of remote working to manage their daily routines effectively. Analysing the outcomes of these research was intriguing as it explored the unique circumstances of workers shifting to remote working with the uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, there has been no specific research conducted to investigate the impact of remote working on the software development organisations in New Zealand, particularly focusing on the adoption of the Scrum Framework and the productivity of Scrum Development Teams post the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand. Employing Snowball Sampling and Purposive Sampling techniques, the study ensured a targeted and representative respondent sample. The collected qualitative and quantitative data were subjected to Thematic and Descriptive Analysis methods. Notably, Deductive Reasoning permeated the analysis process, extracting valuable insights and fostering innovative conclusions from the dataset. This encompassing methodological framework facilitated a nuanced grasp of autonomy's impact on the productivity of remote Scrum Development Teams in New Zealand. The research findings demonstrated that while remote work offers advantages like flexibility, autonomy, and access to diverse talents, it also presents challenges concerning team dependency, communication hurdles, and distractions. Despite these challenges, the Scrum Development Teams exhibited resilience and adaptability, maintaining productivity and achieving their objectives. The research underscored the importance of clear expectations, individual goal-setting, and the Scrum Framework in surmounting obstacles and amplifying remote team performance.
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