Whole Team Thinking and Success Factors in Large Scale Agile Development - An Exploratory Case Study
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Agile software development has been the preferred method since it was introduced as a software development method in 2001. It was originally intended for small co-located teams but in later years it has experienced widespread acknowledgement also in large scale development projects. One thing that is not known is how to best achieve success in these kinds of projects. In this thesis we have explored two different cases of large scale projects. Because of the complexity which arise in large scale projects it is difficult to know how they can be conducted in the best possible way. The number of people involved, the need for coordination, and locating the different teams are some of what complicates a large scale agile development project and it is therefore hard to know how to best achieve success when considering these new complexities. From the literature research we therefore found several possible success factors, and the factor whole team thinking became the focus. The reason for this is that there is a difference when working in a project with one team and a project with several teams which depend on each other. Whole team thinking is about all teams thinking in the same direction and having the same goals throughout the projects, e.g. having shared mental models across all teams involved. These factors were investigated in the two cases and it was discovered how they affected the different cases; Omega and Tellus. From the results we could see that whole team thinking was one of the factors holding the two projects together. This was noticable when the teams in the project considered the fact that they were working together and not competing against each other. When the teams noticed how important it was to collaborate they were more helpful toward the other teams and they understood the whole project more than when they just thought about their own team and their own part of the project. When they did not consider the project they were more quick to blame the other teams and hinder the project's progress.