Three ‘c’s of agile practice: collaboration, coordination and communication

Sharp, Helen and Robinson, Hugh (2010). Three ‘c’s of agile practice: collaboration, coordination and communication. In: Dingsøyr, Torgeir; Dybå, Tore and Moe, Nils Brede eds. Agile Software Development: Current Research and Future Directions. Berlin: Springer, pp. 61–85.




The importance of collaboration, co-ordination and communication in agile teams is often discussed and rarely disputed. These activities are supported through various practices including pairing, customer collaboration, stand-ups and the planning game. However the mechanisms used to support these activities are sometimes more difficult to pin down. We have been studying agile teams for over a decade, and have found that story cards and the Wall are central to an agile team’s activity, and the information they hold and convey is crucial for supporting the team’s collaboration and co-ordination activity. However the information cap-tured by these usually physical artefacts pertains mainly to progress rather than to functional dependencies. This latter information is fundamental to any software development, and in a non-agile environment is usually contained in detailed documentation not generally produced in an agile team. Instead, this information resides in their communication and social practices. In this chapter we discuss these three ‘C’s of agile development and what we know about how they are sup-ported through story cards and the Wall.

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