Re-Evaluating Media Richness Theory in Software Development Settings


Software development teams communicate differently by using a variety of communication tools. Successful communication leads to competitive software based on clear and quickly delivered re-quirements, as well as smoothness in bug reporting and explanation. Agile and Waterfall software development approaches have both addressed the importance of communication for their process. However, neither Agile nor Waterfall has guaranteed communication effectiveness during their development lifecycle. In this study we highlight the main differences between Agile and Waterfall approaches in the light of Media Richness Theory (MRT). We also identify the preferred commu-nication tools during a project’s lifecycle using both Agile and Waterfall models separately. A mixed-method approach was employed in this study incorporating quantitative and qualitative data from interviews and a multilingual web-based survey. The results are presented descriptively and statistically and a rank ordering of communication tools based on our participants’ preferences leads to a better understanding of how to select the best tool in a given situation. Thus a new updated MRT ranking model tailored for software development environment was developed, as well as, we conclude that communication tools are employed differently based on project stages and team member’s role. These differences in using communication tools could be also attributed to the type of transferable information or personal preferences.

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Bindrees, M. , Pooley, R. , Ibrahim, I. and Taylor, N. (2014) Re-Evaluating Media Richness Theory in Software Development Settings. Journal of Computer and Communications, 2, 37-51. doi: 10.4236/jcc.2014.214004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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