Coordination Strategies: Managing Inter-team Coordination Challenges in Large-scale Agile

Inter-team coordination in large-scale software development can be challenging when relying on agile development methods that emphasize iterative and frequent delivery in autonomous teams. Previous research has introduced the concept of coordination strategies, which refer to a set of coordination mecha- nisms to manage dependencies. We report on a case study in a large-scale agile development program with 16 development teams. Through interviews, meeting observations, and supplemental document analyses, we explore the challenges to inter-team coordination and how dependencies are managed. We found four co- ordination strategies: 1) aligning autonomous teams, 2) maintaining overview in the large-scale setting, 3) managing prioritizations, and 4) managing architecture and technical dependencies. This study extends previous research on coordina- tion strategies within teams to the inter-team level. We propose that large-scale organizations can use coordination strategies to understand how they coordinate across teams and manage their unique coordination situation. 

Authors of report: Marthe Berntzen, Viktoria Stray and Nils Brede Moe

Marthe Berntzen
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