Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Management Information Systems

Committee Chair(s)

David H. Olsen


David H. Olsen


Jeffery Johnson


John D. Johnson


Sherry Marx


Karina Hauser


The purpose of this dissertation was to explore critical issues and challenges that might arise in agile software development processes with Scrum. It also sought to provide management guidelines to help organizations avoid and overcome barriers in adopting the Scrum method as a future software development method. A qualitative research method design was used to capture the knowledge of practitioners and scrutinize the Scrum software development process in its natural settings. An in-depth case study was conducted in two organizations where the Scrum method was fully integrated in every aspect of two organizations' software development processes. One organization provides large-scale and mission-critical applications and the other provides small- and medium-scale applications. Differences between two organizations provided useful contrasts for the data analysis. Data were collected through an email survey, observations, documents, and semi-structured face-to-face interviews. The email survey was used to refine interview questions; all of the interviews were audio-taped and transcribed, and later coded for analysis. Triangulation in the data collection process provided useful information for different perspectives on the issues, allowed for cross-checking, and yielded stronger substantiation of concepts and common categories. The research presented four common categories of issues and challenges of the Scrum method, and management guidelines to help organizations that are already using the Scrum method or planning to employ it in the future. The framework for a hybrid software development model is then proposed as a future study.