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Agile Teams in Large-Scale Distributed Context: Isolated or Connected?
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. Blekinge Inst Technol, Karlskrona, Sweden..
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. Blekinge Inst Technol, Karlskrona, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1744-3118
2016 (English)In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE XP2016 SCIENTIFIC WORKSHOPS, ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY , 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Background: Agile development heavily relies on effective communication and coordination. Large-scale software development, where many teams are involved in developing often complex projects - even more so. As projects grow more complex, there is a finite limit to the amount of information that one person or a team within that project can possess at a given time. When we have one or two agile teams in a project, achieving good communication and coordination is easy. In fact, agile teams can be self-going. However, when there are many teams, should they be governed and supported or autonomous? Can they work in isolation? Aim: We aim to understand how isolated or connected are the teams in large-scale software development and answer a number of questions: Who supports the teams in their daily work? How often do teams communicate and coordinate with external contacts? Are supporting roles available? Method: We use the data from 10 teams from two large-scale distributed development projects. Quantitative data was collected through a survey and qualitative data was obtained from interviews and focus groups. We analyzed teams' knowledge networks using social network analysis techniques. Results: In this paper, we identify a number of governance roles supporting the teams, and discuss their importance, knowledge exchange frequency and contact availability in the context of large-scale distributed projects. Conclusion: We conclude that teams interact with a large number of supporting roles grouped into four categories. Although the frequency of interaction differed between the two projects, the amount of interaction was quite high. We thus conclude that agile teams in large-scale development depend on the knowledge and information that resides outside of the team, which means that they are not fully self-going and autonomous. We also found that there are larger differences between networking behavior of teams working in the same project than across the two projects. And finally, our results suggest that distribution and distance introduces barriers to networking across remote locations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY , 2016.
Keywords [en]
Global software development, Offshoring, Insourcing, Social network analysis, Distributed agile, Large-scale agile
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-20907DOI: 10.1145/2962695.2962705ISI: 000577054200010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-20907DiVA, id: diva2:1517004
Conference
Workshop on Large Scale Agile Development. / 1st International Workshop on Emerging Trends in DevOps and Infrastructure / 2nd International Workshop on Agile Development of Safety-Critical Software / International Workshop on Refactoring and Testing, Edinburgh, MAY 24, 2016
Available from: 2021-01-13 Created: 2021-01-13 Last updated: 2021-04-27Bibliographically approved

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Šāblis, AivarsŠmite, Darja

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