Last year, Mascha Kurpicz and I conducted interviews and ran a survey to better understand the dynamics of Scrum teams and their use of tools to support agile development. We wrote a paper. Sadly, it was rejected at XP 2012, mostly due to a lack of data to support our claims. Here is the abstract:
Scrum is a lightweight iterative process that favors interac- tion between team members. Software development is however a complex activity and there exist many software tools aimed at supporting it. This research studies the role of software tools within Scrum practices. It focuses more specifically on comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the Scrum Wall and issue trackers, as they are frequently used together within projects. This paper presents findings from interviews that have been further validated with a survey. Results show that the Scrum Wall is highly appreciated by Scrum practitioners. It encourages positive dynamics and supports well most of the work organization. People tend to consider software tools as impediments, but use them nevertheless to control information that would otherwise remain tacit. Synchronizing information across tools is reported to be a source of troubles.
I think there are several interesting findings in our study. Team productivity and team dynamics are challenging issues to understand, but very fascinating.