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UBC Theses and Dissertations

NextMove : task coordination in a distributed agile development environment Mak, David K. M.

Abstract

While task coordination has always been a challenge for software project managers, the emerging trend of distributed development adds a new dimension to the conundrum. This thesis describes NextMove, a tool which relieves the project manager from the mundane work of day-to-day task assignment to team members, as well as the heuristic processes behind NextMove. NextMove leverages common practices in software engineering and multi-criteria decision-making processes in order to continuously evaluate the pertinence of tasks that are currently available in the project and advise the team on what to do next as the project progresses. Two methods were used to validate the evaluation approaches behind NextMove: project simulations and experiment with human subjects. Simulation results show that teams that make use of NextMove's heuristic process consistently post shorter project completion times than at least 80% of randomized executions of the same project. The experiment yielded less optimistic results, with conflicting results between different experiment sessions. However, important lessons were learned during the experiment and they open avenues for further research and improvement on NextMove.

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