Technical Dependency Challenges in Large-Scale Agile Software Development
Paper in proceedings, 2014

This qualitative study investigates challenges associated with technical dependencies and their communication. Such challenges frequently occur when agile practices are scaled to large-scale software development. The use of thematic analysis on semi-structured interviews revealed five challenges: planning, task prioritization, information exchange, code quality, and integration. More importantly, these challenges interact with one another and can lead to a domino effect or vicious circle. If an organization struggles with one challenge, it is likely that the other challenges become problematic as well. This situation can have a significant impact on process and product quality. Our recommendations focus on improving planning and knowledge sharing (with practices such as scrum-of-scrums, continuous integration, open space technology) to break the vicious circle, and to reestablish effective communication across teams, which will then enable large-scale companies to achieve the benefits of large-scale agility.

Qualitative research

Large-scale agile

Technical dependencies

Cross-Functional Teams (XFT)


Nelson Sekitoleko

University of Gothenburg

Felix Evbota

University of Gothenburg

Eric Knauss

University of Gothenburg

Anna Sandberg

Michel Chaudron

University of Gothenburg

Helena Holmström Olsson

Proceedings of 15th International Conference on Agile Software Development (XP '14)

Vol. 179 46-61

Subject Categories

Software Engineering





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