FSE 2016 All Events

24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2016), November 13–18, 2016, Seattle, WA, USA

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Building a Socio-Technical Theory of Coordination: Why and How (Outstanding Research Award)
Emerald Ballroom
Building a Socio-Technical Theory of Coordination: Why and How (Outstanding Research Award)
James Herbsleb
(Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Publisher's Version
Abstract: Research aimed at understanding and addressing coordination breakdowns experienced in global software development (GSD) projects at Lucent Technologies took a path from open-ended qualitative exploratory studies to quantitative studies with a tight focus on a key problem – delay – and its causes. Rather than being directly associated with delay, multi-site work items involved more people than comparable same-site work items, and the number of people was a powerful predictor of delay. To counteract this, we developed and deployed tools and practices to support more effective communication and expertise location. After conducting two case studies of open source development, an extreme form of GSD, we realized that many tools and practices could be effective for multi-site work, but none seemed to work under all conditions. To achieve deeper insight, we developed and tested our Socio-Technical Theory of Coordination (STTC) in which the dependencies among engineering decisions are seen as defining a constraint satisfaction problem that the organization can solve in a variety of ways. I conclude by explaining how we applied these ideas to transparent development environments, then sketch important open research questions.


Time stamp: 2019-03-21T10:50:25+01:00