2010 CHASE - Designing Motivation Strategies for Software Engineering Teams: an Empirical Study

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Designing Motivation Strategies for Software Engineering Teams: an Empirical Study
A. César C. França, Fabio Q. B. da Silva

Abstract-Background. Even though the amount of researches related to the behavior of software development teams has significantly increased in recent years, researches focusing on motivation as an alternative to lead software projects to success are still rare. Objective/Method: This article describes a survey conducted to identify the relative importance of some factors that affect the motivation of software engineers at work. The conceptual underpinnings of human motivation used in the research are the Expectancy Theory and the Motivation-Hygiene Theory. Results/Conclusion: In the study, a cross-sectional survey was conducted involving 176 software engineers employed at 20 software firms from the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. Data collected with the survey revealed not only the order in which the set of motivators influences the software engineers motivation and other peripheral findings, but also served as a basis to design three motivation strategies for software engineering teams.

Paper presented at the Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, Cape Town, 2010.


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2010 CHASE - Designing Motivation Strategies for Software Engineering Teams: an Empirical Study

  1. 1. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Designing Motivation Strategies for Software Engineering Teams: an Empirical Study A. César C. França; Fabio Q. B. da Silva; <cesarfranca@gmail.com; fabio@cin.ufpe.br>
  2. 2. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Research Project 3 (empirical) research project on the influence of human factors on software engineering Long Term Objective: to understand the influence of personality, behavior, and cognition on individuals, teams, projects, processes, and organizations in software engineering.
  3. 3. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Research Project 4 (empirical) research project on the influence of human factors on software engineering Centro de Informática – UFPE Since 2003 ... 1 professor/researcher 2 PhD students 23 master students 14 master dissertations ...
  4. 4. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Research Project 5 (empirical) research project on the influence of human factors on software engineering S O P E I Individual •Learning •Preferences •Motivation •Performance Team •Structure •Roles •Relations •Managem ent •Conflicts •Negotiation •Leadership •Performance •Aim Projects and Processes •Typology •Activities •Performance •Sucess Influenciates Is influentiated Human Factors •Personality •Behavior •Cognitive style • Mental Models
  5. 5. S O P E I Influences Is influenced E Team •Structure •Roles •Relations •Managem ent I Individual •Learning •Preferences •Motivation •Performance ? Objective of this Article 7 This article describes an inductive and quantitative field research whose aim is design a motivation strategy for software engineering teams. •Conflicts •Negotiation •Leadership •Performance •Aim
  6. 6. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Research Motivation 8 Developers are not happy! IT - professionals 28% were not satisfied with the current work 75% would like to change their job 41% felt unmotivated in the job [SkillSoft - Jaggs, 2006] Motivation = focus of interest in the productive sector  Organizational climate  People may better perform their tasks Human resources constitute an average of 70% of the costs in a software engineering project. [SEI]
  7. 7. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Our Questions 9 (RQ1) What is the order of influence of a given set of motivators in the software engineers general motivation? (RQ2) What is the order of influence of a given set of dissatisfaction factors in the software engineers general motivation?
  8. 8. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Motivational Theories 1111 • Expectancy Theory – Individual + Context – Valency, Expectancy and Instrumentality • Motivation-Hygiene Theory – Motivators: increase the motivation – Hygienic factors: respulse some action Motivation Unsatisfaction Satisfacted I Want (Valency)Performance I Will (Expectancy) Effort I Can (Instrumentality) Satisfaction
  9. 9. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Sharp’s MOCC Model Motivators, Outcomes, Characteristics, Context 12 Software Engineer Characteristics Outcomes Contextual Result in Mediate Influence effectiveness of Influence strength of Orientate towards Motivators Inherent in Software Engineering Specific organization/job factors Intrinsic Extrinsic Personality
  10. 10. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Sharp’s MOCC Model Motivators, Outcomes, Characteristics, Context 13 Software Engineer Characteristics Outcomes Contextual Result in Mediate Influence effectiveness of Influence strength of Orientate towards Motivators Inherent in Software Engineering Specific organization/job factors Intrinsic Extrinsic Personality Work with people Balance between professional Development processes and personal life Project Life cycle Technical development Change Exercise broadly personal skills Challenging work Feedback Problems resolution Rewards and Financial Incentives Experimentation Career development Creativity Empowerment Meaningful products Identification with task Decision Making Autonomy Physical Conditions Working in a Successful Company Technological conditions Competitive Salaries Benefits Good Management Equity People Retention Project Delivery Time Productivity Budgets Low Absenteeism Project Success
  11. 11. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Team Types 14 Tactical Teams: Focuses on technical tasks, clearly defined, standardized, and repeatable, whose results are easily measured. The performance of this type of team may be improved by challenging goals, though always reachable. Creative Teams: Focuses on creation of novel products or services. This type of team is usually composed by intelligent people, independent and self-managed. Its components usually match their personal interests with the team objectives. Problem Resolution Teams: Focuses on critical problems resolution. This type of team usually works under pressure, and its components are sociable, analytical and highly concentrated. [Larson, 1989]
  12. 12. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Experimental Design 16 Software engineers on software firms located in Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil) the choice of software organizations was done by convenience and the selection of subjects in each company was random
  13. 13. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Experimental Steps 17 Step I) Literature review: The systematic literature review described in Beecham et al. [10] is one of the key elements for this research. Step II) Survey: • data collection: 12/01/2008 – 12/20/2008 • 176 professionals, located in Recife, PE (Brazil). • Questionnaire Step III - Data analysis: • Statistical treatment • Motivators were ordered according to the direct perception of the subjects • Subjectively organized according to their best suitability to each pre-defined category.
  14. 14. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Motivators Set 18 Appropriate Physical conditions Appropriate technological conditions Competitive salary Equity Good management Work with people Development practices Participation in the entire life cycle of the project Changing Routine Challenging goals Problems resolution Experimentation Creativity Meaningful products Decision making Balance between personal and professional life Technical development Exercise broad personal skills Feedback Rewards and financial incentives Career development Empowerement Identification with task Autonomy Working in successfull company Benefits Hygienic Factors Motivators
  15. 15. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Variables & Measures 19
  16. 16. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Variables & Measures 20
  17. 17. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Variables & Measures 21
  18. 18. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Variables & Measures 22 Average Motivation Motivational Force xVxIxExFm  Dissatisfaction Force yHyFh  1 n n iFm Ma           1
  19. 19. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Population Characterization 24 Gender Male 81.4 % Female 18.6 % Role P.M. 6.9 % Analist 20.1 % Designer 5.8 % Implementer 42.9 % Tester 15.3 % Others 4.8 % N.I. 4.2 % Age Under 21 1.6 % 21 to 25 41.5 % 26 to 30 27.8 % 31 to 35 9.0 % 36 to 40 3.7 % Above 40 6.4 % Education High school 0.5% Undergraduate 33.0 % Graduated 35.1 % Master / Specialist 28.7 % Ph.D 0.5 % N.I. 2.2 %
  20. 20. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Categories of Motivators 25 Acceleration Factors Innovation Factors Tension Factors Inherent to Task F1 Work with people F8 Creativity F6 Problems resolution Operational F2 Development practices F4 Changing Routine F7 Experimentation F18 Identification with task F14 Feedback Tactical F5 Challenging goals F11 Balance between personal and professional life F13 Exercise broad personal skills F19 Autonomy F3 Participation in the entire life cycle of the project Strategic F15 Rewards and financial incentives F12 Technical development F10 Decision making F16 Career development F17 Empowerement Global F9 Meaningful products F20 Working in successfull company
  21. 21. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Dissatisfaction Force 26 Average Dissatisfaction
  22. 22. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Dissatisfaction Force 27 Average Dissatisfaction ~20%
  23. 23. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Average Motivation 28
  24. 24. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Design of Motivation Strategies 29
  25. 25. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Design of Motivation Strategies 30
  26. 26. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Conclusions 32 Contributions • A questionnaire designed to measure the software engineers motivation • An empirical classification order of motivator factors and hygiene factors Motivation Strategies Adaptable Flexible Pragmatic Effective (we suppose…)
  27. 27. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Threats to Validity • Internal Validity – Addressed by pre-testing the questionnaire in a smaller sample – Causality relation between the factors • Construct Validity – addressed by using motivator factors developed by a thorough systematic literature review. • Conclusion Validity – Suppositions must be tested • External Validity – population is restricted to individuals from the same geographic location and similar type of software companies 33
  28. 28. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Future Work 34 Motivation x success in software engineering projects Motivation x Project Characteristics Principal Component Analysis Replication and Validation
  29. 29. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Designing Motivation Strategies for Software Engineering Teams: an Empirical Study A. César C. França; Fabio Q. B. da Silva; <cesarfranca@gmail.com; fabio@cin.ufpe.br> Thanks!
  30. 30. S O P E I Influences Is influenced Designing Motivation Strategies for Software Engineering Teams: an Empirical Study by A. César C. França, Fabio Q. B. da Silva is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at the Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, Cape Town, 2010. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.haseresearch.com

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