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While software is so important for all facets of the modern world, software development itself is not a perfect process. Agile software engineering methods have recently emerged as a new and different way of developing software as compared to the traditional methodologies. However, their success has mostly been anecdotal, and research in this subject is still scant in the academic circles. This research study was a survey study on the critical success factors of Agile software development projects using a quantitative approach.

Based on existing literature, a preliminary list of potential critical success factors of Agile projects were identified and compiled. Subsequently, reliability analysis and factor analysis were conducted to consolidate this preliminary list into a final set of 12 possible critical success factors for each of the four project success categories – Quality, Scope, Time, and Cost.

A survey was conducted among Agile professionals, gathering survey data from 109 Agile projects from 25 countries across the world. Multiple regression techniques were used, both at the full regression model and at the optimized regression model via the stepwise screening procedure. The results revealed that only 10 out of 48 hypotheses were supported, identifying three critical success factors for Agile software development projects:

  1. Delivery Strategy;

  2. Agile Software Engineering Techniques;

  3. Team Capability.

Limitations of the study are discussed together with interpretations for practitioners. To ensure the success of their projects, managers are urged to focus on choosing a high-calibre team, practising Agile engineering techniques and following Agile-style delivery strategy.

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