Interpersonal Relationships, Leadership and Other Soft Skills in Software Development Projects: A Systematic Review

  • Rafael Elizalde
  • Sussy Bayona
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 746)


Today, Software Development Projects teams require that the professional profile of their members not only consists of calibration techniques, but also non-technical skills such as Interpersonal Relationships, Leadership and other Soft Skills. A systematic review of the literature (SRL) that addresses the Management of Software Development Projects was performed in order to find out how the management of Software Development projects and Interpersonal Relationships/non-technical skills/the constructs correlate. In our review, we selected twenty-three relevant articles, which were analyzed systematically, and identified significant correlations between the psychological variables and the successful management of Software Development Projects.


Relationships Leadership Soft skills Systematic review Software Development Projects 


  1. 1.
    Weinberg, G.M.: The Psychology of Computer Programming. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York (1971)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ramesh, G., Ramesh, M.: The Ace of Soft Skills. Attitude, Communication and Etiquette for Success. Dorling Kindersley, New Delhi (2010)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gallagher, K., Kaiser, K., Simon, J., Beath, C., Goles, T.: The requisite variety of skills for IT professionals. Commun. ACM 53(6), 144–148 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Project Management Institute: PMBOK Guide, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 5th edn., Pennsylvania (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kendall, P.A.: Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design: A Structured Approach. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs (1995)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gerkhardt, M., Frey, D., Fischer, P.: The human factor in change processes: success factors from a socio-psychological point of view. In: Change 2.0, pp. 11–25 (2008)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Software Engineering Process Management: Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), 1.3 (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Software Engineering Process Management: People Capability Maturity Model (P-CMM), 2.0, 2nd edn. (2009)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kulpa, M.: Why Should I Use the People CMM, Software Engineering Technology (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Szalvay, L.: Human Resources and Scrum: An Incremental Pathway to a Vibrant Organizational Culture. Scrum Alliance (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gunbayi, I.: Academic staff’s perceptions on stressors originating from interpersonal relations at work setting: a case study. Procedia Soc. Behav. Sci. 1(1), 50–60 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mayo, E.: The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization. Early Sociology of Management and Organizations, vol. 6, Chicago (2010)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Alderfer, C.: An empirical test of a new theory of human needs. Organ. Behav. Hum. Perform. 4(2), 142–175 (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Heider, F.: The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. Wiley, Martino Fine Books, New York (2015)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Goleman, D.: Emotional Intelligence. Bantam Books, New York (1995)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Goleman, D.: Working whit emotional intelligence. Ed. Zeta, Madrid (1998)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Abanto, Z., Higueras, J., Cueto, J.: ICE-Emotional Quotient Inventory de Bar-On. Technical manual, Lima (2000)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ojeda, H., Méndez, V., Hernández, S.: Leadership and its relationship with the model of competing values. Telos 18(1), 17–38 (2016)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pinto, J.K., Slevin, D.P.: Project success: definitions and measurement techniques. Project Manag. J. 19(1), 67–73 (1988)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Westerveld, E.: The project excellence model: linking success criteria and critical success factors. Int. J. Project Manag. 21(6), 411–418 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Cooke-Davies, T.: The real success factors on projects. Int. J. Project Manag. 20(3), 185–190 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Elkins, T., Keller, R.T.: Leadership in research and development organizations: a literature review and conceptual framework. Leadersh. Q. 14, 587–606 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bennis, W., Nanus, B.: Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge. Harper and Row, New York (1985)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hersey, P., Blanchard, K.H.: Management of Organizational Behaviour. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs (1988)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    House, R.J.: A path-goal theory of leadership effectiveness. Admin. Sci. Q. 16(3), 321–328 (1971)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Bass, B.M.: Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research and Applications. Free Press, New York (1990)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Keegan, A., Den Hartog, D.N.: Transformational leadership in a project-based environment: a comparative study of the leadership styles of project managers and line managers. Int. J. Project Manag. 22(8), 609–618 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Turner, J.R., Müller, R.: Choosing Appropriate Project Managers: Matching Their Leadership Style to the Type of Project. Project Manage. Inst., Newtown Square, PA (2006)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Dulewicz, V., Higgs, M.: Emotional intelligence: a review and evaluation study. J. Manag. Psychol. 15(4), 341–368 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fernandez, C.F., Vecchio, R.P.: Situational leadership theory revisited: a test of an across-jobs perspective. Leadersh. Q. 8, 67–84 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bernard, M.: From transactional to transformational leadership: learning to share the vision. Organ. Dyn. 18(3), 19–31 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Salvatierra, D.J.: Brecha de Habilidades Blandas en Chile: Abriendo el debate educacional, Plural Ideas & Acción, Chile (2015)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Parkash, L.: Soft skills for young professionals. IEEE Eng. Manag. Rev. 43(3), 23–24 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Singer, M., Guzmán, R., Donoso, P.: Entrenando Competencias Blandas en Jóvenes, Chile (2009)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kamin, M.: Soft Skills Revolution: A Guide for Connecting with Compassion for Trainers, Teams, and Leaders. Pfeiffer, San Francisco (2013)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Heckman, J., Stixrud, J., Urzua, S.: The effects of cognitive and noncognitive abilities on labor market outcomes and social behavior. J. Labor Econ. 24(3), 411–482 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Silva, M.: Habilidades blandas, fundamentales para el desarrollo personal, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Educación, Santiago, pp. 22–23 (2013)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kitchenham, B., Charters, S.: Guidelines for performing systematic literature reviews in software engineering, Technical report, Ver. 2.3 EBSE Technical report (2007)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Dybå, T., Dingsøyr, T.: Empirical studies of agile software development: a systematic review. Inf. Softw. Technol. 50(9–10), 833–859 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Bass, B.M., Avolio, B.J.: Full Range of Leadership Development, Manual for the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Mind Garden Inc. (1997)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Gonzales, F.: Psychological Evaluation Instruments, La Habana (2007)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Heckman, J.: Hard evidence on soft skills. Labour Econ. 19(4), 451–464 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unidad de Posgrado de la Facultad de Ingeniería de Sistemas e InformáticaUniversidad Nacional Mayor de San MarcosLimaPeru

Personalised recommendations