Investigating Agile Adoption in Saudi Arabian Software Industry

Altuwaijri, Fahad (2022) Investigating Agile Adoption in Saudi Arabian Software Industry. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Agile is an established software development methodology that helps develop software by improving time to market, quality, customer engagement and reducing costs. Factors underpinning its adoption, such as social and technical factors, have been widely researched. However, most of these studies have been conducted in developed countries, particularly Europe and North America, with only a handful of studies carried out in developing countries, particularly in the Middle East. This is problematic given the strategic and economic importance of the software industry in such places as Saudi Arabia, where Agile adoption remains in the early stages, despite the country heavily investing in this industry in recent years to diversify its oil-dependent economy. Therefore, this thesis empirically investigates the factors influencing Agile adoption by Saudi Arabian software SMEs. The research starts with reviewing existing literature on Agile adoption to explore its influential factors. Then, it proposes a framework incorporating these factors from literature. A series of empirical studies are conducted, and they are outlined below. Firstly, a mixed-methods study, including four expert interviews and a survey with 31 participants, is employed to understand the awareness and perceptions of Agile. Secondly, a multi-case study, involving semi-structured interviews with 12 software practitioners and a focus group discussion with five practitioners in three software SMEs, investigates the influential factors by refining the proposed framework. Thirdly, 132 participants completed a questionnaire to evaluate the impact of Agile adoption factors within Saudi software SMEs. The results reveal a low level of awareness and usage of Agile in Saudi Arabia. Several factors are identified as enablers for Agile adoption, such as team capability, organisational environment, and tools and technologies, while the most significant hindrances are pinpointed as organisational culture, awareness and knowledge, and customer involvement. The thesis finally introduces a framework incorporating Agile adoption factors, which can serve as a research tool and a guideline for software SMEs in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, notably the Gulf Cooperation Council member countries, who wish to adopt Agile. Overall, this thesis provides valuable information to help software practitioners, senior management, decision makers and government bodies understand the factors influencing Agile adoption and ways of increasing Agile awareness and knowledge among stakeholders, which can assist in the adoption and use of Agile in the country.

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Thesis (PhD)
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12 Dec 2022 10:20
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:55