Scaling Agile Beyond Organizational Boundaries: Coordination Challenges in Software Ecosystems
Paper i proceeding, 2019
The shift from sequential to agile software development originates from relatively small and co-located teams but soon gained prominence in larger organizations. How to apply and scale agile practices to fit the needs of larger projects has been studied to quite an extent in previous research. However, scaling agile beyond organizational boundaries, for instance in a software ecosystem context, raises additional challenges that existing studies and approaches do not yet investigate or address in great detail. For that reason, we conducted a case study in two software ecosystems that comprise several agile actors from different organizations and, thereby, scale development across organizational boundaries, in order to elaborate and understand their coordination challenges. Our results indicate that most of the identified challenges are caused by long communication paths and a lack of established processes to facilitate these paths. As a result, the participants in our study, among others, experience insufficient responsivity, insufficient communication of prioritizations and deliverables, and alterations or loss of information. As a consequence, agile practices need to be extended to fit the identified needs.
Large-scale agile software development