An award and a new publication for Prof. Meghann Drury

Congratulations to Meghann Drury, assistant professor of communication and media management, who has had an article published in the highly regarded Journal of Systems and Software. A prior version of this paper was presented at the Agile 2011 Conference in Salt Lake City, where it won the “Best Research Paper” award sponsored by IEEE Software.

The Journal of Systems and Software publishes academic papers related to several niches, including software engineering, methods of computer programming, and issues about the integration of hardware and software. Its emphasis is on research that has real, useful applications in the world: Writers are asked to make sure their case studies, surveys and analyses have an identifiable practical side.

Professor Drury’s paper, co-authored with two colleagues from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and the Cisco Systems corporation in Galway, Ireland, looks at Agile software development, in which people gather in self-organized, cross-functional teams to develop programming solutions. The teams bring together varying numbers of individuals with different areas of expertise.

The research Professor Drury conducted looked specifically at obstacles to decision-making in Agile teams. She and her fellow investigators conducted a focus group and interviews with team members who used Agile methodologies and homed in on six factors that can hold them back from making progress:

  • Unwillingness to commit to decisions
  • Conflicting priorities
  • Unstable resource availability
  • Lack of implementation
  • Lack of ownership
  • Lack of empowerment

Professor Drury’s findings can have practical implications for helping Agile teams to improve their team communication and effectiveness and thereby avoid, according to her group’s research abstract, “a lack of longer term, strategic focus for decisions; an ever-growing backlog of delayed work from previous iterations; and a lack of team engagement.”

For more information about Professor Drury and her research, visit her Fordham business faculty web profile here.

 

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