Effect of individual on software development team performance Investigating individualism of software engineers and how it could affect a software development team performance

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2020
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Kanhokthorn, Leadkeattiwong
Xi, Jingyi
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Nowadays, software development companies conduct their work in teams, thus to improve team productivity, it is crucial to understand the underlying factors of an individual and the team that affects team performance. Two individual-level concepts that are frequently discussed are personality and social sensitivity. Two other teamlevel concepts that have been notable are psychological safety and team norm clarity. This research aims to understand these concepts in a software development team. The research question is whether personality, social sensitivity, psychological safety, and team norm clarity associate positively with software developers’ self-assessed individual and team performance. Besides, this research speculates the differences between individuals who are software engineers and interaction designers, how they are different in the mentioned variables. This research has collected surveys and interview data from practitioners (N =29) in 5 development teams working in a software development organization. The data was far too few to be able to conclude the result. However, there are traces of trends that are worth investigating further. Based on quantitative analysis, it can be concluded that extroversion in personality has a weak positive non-linear correlation with individual performance and has a weak negative non-linear correlation with team performance. The equation of independent variables to predict team performance is y=0.7757a+0.1252b+1.5556, in which individual performance(a) and imagination(b) affects the forming of the equation. Based on the interview, other factors were found to play a supporting role in personality, social sensitivity, psychological safety, and team norm clarity such as professionalism, adaptability, working style, motivation, etc. which indirectly boost the team performance. Personality traits that affect designers’ team performance most is creativity. Creativity connects to openness and extroversion, and extroversion is proved to have a significant correlation with team performance for software engineers in this research; it can be speculated that software engineers and designers have different required qualities but share extroversion as a bonus quality to improve performance. This research highlights the need to examine, in more detail, professionalism, team structure, team maturity, and software engineers’ behavior that affects a software development team performance. The findings of this study could serve as a pilot study to discover individual factors for future work.
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Software engineer, interaction designers, personality, social sensitivity, psychological safety, team norm clarity, performance, software development
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