Remote Working and Collaboration in Agile Teams

Deshpande, Advait; Sharp, Helen; Barroca, Leonor and Gregory, Peggy (2016). Remote Working and Collaboration in Agile Teams. In: International Conference on Information Systems, 11-14 Dec 2016, Dublin, Ireland.



Agile software development relies heavily on tight and continuous collaboration, which becomes a challenge when team members work at a distance. Despite significant focus on distributed Agile working, remote working, when only one or two individuals are not co-located with the rest of the team, remains largely unexplored. We focus on one organisation with several such teams and investigate one in detail using distributed cognition – a theoretical framework for studying collaborative work. We present the results of a group retrospective, and a comparative analysis of collaboration in the team, taking the contrasting perspectives of the remote worker and his co-located teammates. The analysis shows substantial differences in three aspects: virtual artefacts; information flow; and the primacy of structure and facilities provided by collaborative platforms. Platforms that support meaningful collaboration and engagement for the remote worker, and create parity between all members of the team are crucial to integrating capability.

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