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Globally Distributed Agile Teams:

A Preliminary Conceptual Model for Exploring the Dimensions Contributing to Successful Team Configuration
Event type: 
Invited Speaker
Event Date/Time: 
Fri, 07/03/2008 - 2:30pm
Venue: 
LRG-032, Limerick, Ireland
Speaker: 
Jason Sharp, Tarleton State University, Texas

Abstract:

The combination of agile methods and global software development via virtual teams represents an emerging approach to addressing the challenges typically associated with software development projects. The prevailing viewpoint contends that agile methods are not applicable in global settings. However, due to the perceived benefits of these two approaches individually, there is growing interest in the issue of whether distributed software development as a whole can be agile. This raises the question of whether or not it is possible to successfully implement agile methods in globally distributed environments. There is some current research which indicates that it is indeed possible. If this research holds true, the actual configuration of globally distributed agile teams appears to represent a significant area of study which thus far has received little attention. Therefore, this talk attempts to address the following research question: How can agile teams be successfully configured in globally distributed environments? Drawing upon configurational theory, work group design research, virtualness concepts, and the software agility literature, the purpose of this research is to construct a preliminary conceptual model for exploring three proposed dimensions necessary to successfully configure global agile teams. These dimensions include team structure, team agility, and team virtualness. Due to the complex nature of this topic, the need to examine the phenomenon within its natural setting, and the limited amount of research that has been conducted in this particular area, this study will employ a case study research design utilizing semi-structured interviews with program managers, project leads, and team members, from globally distributed agile teams in three organizations. It is hoped that through exploring this topic within actual organizations, a set of best practices might be developed to guide others interested in the use of this type of team. This talk will center on the dimensions of the conceptual model as well as initial analysis of the data collected.

Bio:

Jason Sharp is an instructor of Computer Information Systems at Tarleton State University, a part of the Texas A&M University system. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Information Systems from Tarleton State, and is currently a doctoral candidate for the Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of North Texas. Prior to joining the faculty at Tarleton State he worked as a system support specialist and consultant for a multi-county mental health/mental retardation agency and also developed custom databases for small businesses. He has presented papers at the International Conference on Information Systems, Americas Conference on Information Systems, Information Systems Educators Conference, Special Interest Group on Electronic Government Workshop, and IFIP 8.2 Organizations and Society in Information Systems Workshop. His work has appeared in the Information Systems Education Journal. His current research interests include component-based software development, agile development methods, and flexible and distributed information systems. More specifically, his dissertation research is exploring the dimensions contributing to the successful configuration of globally distributed agile teams.