Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


School of Computer, Information and Mathematical Science


Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering

First Supervisor

Stuart Hope


The modem world relies on computers in almost every facet of life. With the explosion of Information Technology, software development has become an important process. However, from the beginning, this process has suffered and continues to suffer from a number of problems. If these problems are not rectified, they can jeopardise projects and lead to project failure. Project failure results in a project being delivered: • without satisfying the functional and non-functional requirements requested by the user or customer • beyond the agreed schedule and/or • over budget. Research indicates that practising good software development processes (SDPs) can override these problems or at least minimise their impact, however the human element of group dynamics cannot be ignored, Demanding disciplined SDPs will lead to project team harmony and this will result in the improvement of product quality, productivity, time to market and customer satisfaction. This research established the relationship between the practice of good SDPs and team harmony and showed that good software development processes lead to harmonious project teams which in turn leads to effective project performance. Team harmony included the presence of constructive conflict and showed that the management of destructive conflict could minimise its impact or even channel it into constructive outcomes. The subjects of this research were third year undergraduate computer science students at Edith Cowan University involved in a year-long software engineering project. Data was collected through questionnaires and an interview and later analysed using the Spearman’s rank correlation against the project team final marks. The outcome of this study is that good software development processes do indeed lead to harmonious project teams, which in tum lead to effective project performance and favourable outcomes.