RESEARCH AREAS

Our research concentrates on a number of key areas, shown below, viewed as fundamental to successful information systems development and usage.

Agility: the growing popularity of Agile and Lean methods such as Scrum, eXtreme Programming, TDD and Kanban indicate a strong desire to improve how we work and how we create value for our customers. While there are many potential benefits to Agile and Lean adoption, there is no recipe to follow that will guarantee success.

Temporality: While time is often a critical measure of technology, it is often over-simplified in research and the evaluation of technology. Instead, time is an inherently complex, multi-faceted, subtle and complex. While IS researchers are quick to highlight the impact of ICTs on the speed of organizational and social life, they can be slow to address the complexities of time. Our research in this area includes the evaluation of the true ‘velocity’ and speed afforded by methods such as agile and flow. We also examine the extent to which the speed of analytics provides true business value to organisations using these technologies.

Lean Software Development: Lean practices from the manufacturing are seen by industry as potential solutions to the ‘soft’ perception of agile methods. Lean practices bring a focus on metrics, quality management, root cause analysis, and evidence-based process improvement. The research challenge here is adapting, implementing and validating these lean practices in a software engineering context.

Open Innovation: Open Innovation and the associated domains of Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Inner Source Software Development are changing the way that public and private organisations run projects. While there has been much focus in practice about the use of these methods there has been little reflection upon the theory and processes that underpin the open innovation domain. As organisations are faced with increased competition in the innovation space coupled with depleting resources new methods are needed to form the next generation of innovative products. Organisations are increasingly looking outside their four walls to find ideas, solutions to challenges and funding. Lero@NUIGalway are examining how crowdsourcing and crowdfunding can be used by scientific research agencies in finding solutions to challenges and funding. This work seeks to provide an adapted framework for agencies for selecting, formulating and evaluating crowdsourcing practices. Furthermore, we are examining the use of inner source development in software development teams.

Project Portfolio Management: This gap in the literature becomes even more pertinent when we consider that contemporary implementations of agile go beyond small co-located teams as was originally intended, with non-standard implementations now widespread i.e. large teams, start-ups, distributed development environments, greenfield sites, educational environments, open source development, outsourcing, and systems maintenance. This presents new and different challenges for the scaling of agile and lean and requires a rethink of project portfolio management.