Ph.D. Preliminary Oral Exam: Robert Ward

Robert Ward
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 3:30pm
Event Type: 

A Coherent Model of the Scrum Development Methodology

This research aims to establish a coherent, concrete methodological model for Scrum, and to illustrate the operationalization of the model’s core control-related aspects through the creation of a relatively complete simulation of the main sprint loop and planning cycle. This work is distinguished from others in that it does not seek to define a new “Agility” construct nor define a new “Theory of Agility.” Instead, we argue that Scrum is best understood as a collection of effects consequent to a single design choice: namely the decision to replace the earned value (“Percent complete”) progress measurement strategy of traditional plan-oriented development with a process-oriented sampling-based strategy.

We plan to create a new mixed-mode simulation of Scrum, and use that to conduct a series of simulation studies to resolve various anomalies, and to highlight Scrum’s need for process stability. We expect these studies to give concrete, testable answers to various frequently debated open questions in the Scrum community, and to suggest directions for new empirical work, especially with regard to specific tailorings of Scrum.

Committee: Carl Chang (major professor), Myra Cohen, Simanta Mitra, Hridesh Rajan, and Ying Cai.

Join on Zoom: Meeting ID 350 034 1581