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Abstract

This exploratory study of IT project teams in Sweden and Ireland investigates how three agile practices, namely daily stand-ups, iteration planning, and iteration retrospectives, contribute to motivation or de-motivation in an agile team. Several studies recognise that motivating staff is critically important for a project manager and have identified factors that motivate IT project staff in particular. Yet relatively little is known about motivation in an agile context and in particular how an IT project manager may use agile practices to improve team motivation. Seventeen individuals across two teams were interviewed, including both project managers and their staff. The results from both cases indicate that agile practices can contribute to team motivation and de-motivation. This study makes an important contribution in the area of motivation and agile project management by identifying factors that contribute to and inhibit motivation in agile IT project teams. It also makes a contribution to the existing literature by identifying additional factors that motivate and de-motivate IT developers, namely increased visibility and transparency on the progression of tasks, an increase in the number of meetings, lengthy meetings, use of agile practices on long-term projects and use of agile practices for complex or fragmented tasks.

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