An instrument for measuring perception about social and human factors that influence software development productivity

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In terms of productivity in software development, there is specific interest in identifying its influencing factors. For this purpose, several classification approaches have been previously used, which have already recognized technical factors, organizational factors, product factors, project factors, and personal factors. However, these approaches often focus on technical factors over social and human factors (SHFs). Nevertheless, in addition to the obvious technical aspects, the software development process involves problem-solving skills and cognitive aspects and social interaction. In this sense, determining SHFs can lead to software organizations designing strategies for improving team productivity. In this study, we first conducted a preliminary classification of the SHFs identified in the literature. Because this study seeks to assess the factors from the standpoint of software development professionals, we developed and validated an instrument to measure the perception of software development team members about SHFs that may be affecting their productivity. For this purpose, the first four stages of survey-based research were followed: objective definition, survey design, instrument construction, instrument validity, and reliability assessment. The instrument included 79 items assessing 13 different SHFs. After assessing both their validity and reliability, the results demonstrated that the instrument is a valid and reliable tool for measuring SHFs perception among software development team members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-134
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Universal Computer Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Social and Human Factor
  • Software Development Productivity
  • Survey Instrument

Product types of Colciencias

  • A2 article - Q2


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