Dependency Management in Large-Scale Agile: A Case Study of DevOps Teams

AbstractManaging dependencies between teams and within teams is critical when running large-scale agile projects. In large-scale software development, work is carried out simultaneously by many developers and development teams. Results are delivered frequently and iteratively, which requires management of dependencies on both the project and team level. This study explores coordination mechanisms in agile DevOps teams in a large-scale project and how the mechanisms address different types of dependencies. We conducted a case study where we observed 38 scheduled meetings and interviewed members of five DevOps teams and two teams supporting the DevOps teams. By using a dependency taxonomy, we identified 20 coordination mechanisms (eleven synchronization activities and nine synchronization artifacts). Eight of these mechanisms seem essential for coordination in large-scale projects because they addressed more than four types of dependencies. The main implication is that project management needs to combine many practices handling all the dependencies in large-scale projects.

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