Inter-organizational Co-development with Scrum: Experiences and Lessons Learned from a Distributed Corporate Development Environment

  • Raoul Vallon
  • Stefan Strobl
  • Mario Bernhart
  • Thomas Grechenig
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 149)


Distributed development within a single organization adds a lot of overhead to every software development process. When a second organization joins for co-development, complexity reaches the next level. This case study investigates an agile approach from a real world project involving two unaffiliated IT organizations that collaborate in a distributed development environment. Adaptations to the regular Scrum process are identified and evaluated over a six-month-long period of time. The evaluation involves a detailed problem root cause analysis and suggestions on what issues to act first. Key lessons learned include that team members of one Scrum team should not be distributed over several sites and that every site should have at least one Scrum master and one product owner.


distributed development agile development Scrum software development process subcontracting virtual teams 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Xie, M., Shen, M., Rong, G., Shao, D.: Empirical Studies of Embedded Software Development Using Agile Methods: a Systematic Review. In: 2nd International Workshop on Evidential Assessment of Software Technologies, pp. 21–26. ACM, New York (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Scharff, C., Verma, R.: Scrum to Support Mobile Application Development Projects in a Just-in-time Learning Context. In: 2010 ICSE Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, pp. 25–31. ACM, New York (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vander Leest, S.H., Buter, A.: Escape the waterfall: Agile for aerospace. In: 28th Digital Avionics Systems Conference, pp. 6.D.3-1–6.D.3-16 (2009) Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chen, J.Q., Dien, P., Wang, B., Vogel, D.R.: Light-Weight Development Method: A Case Study. In: 2007 International Conference on Service Systems and Service Management, pp. 1–6 (2007)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Begel, A., Nagappan, N.: Usage and Perceptions of Agile Software Development in an Industrial Context: An Exploratory Study. In: 1st International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, pp. 255–264 (2007)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chung, M.-W., Drummond, B.: Agile at Yahoo! From the Trenches. In: 2009 Agile Conference, pp. 113–118. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schnitter, J., Mackert, O.: Large-Scale Agile Software Development at SAP AG. In: Maciaszek, L.A., Loucopoulos, P. (eds.) ENASE 2010. CCIS, vol. 230, pp. 209–220. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Paasivaara, M., Durasiewicz, S., Lassenius, C.: Using Scrum in Distributed Agile Development: A Multiple Case Study. In: 4th International Conference on Global Software Engineering, pp. 195–204 (2009)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bannerman, P.L., Hossain, E., Jeffery, R.: Scrum Practice Mitigation of Global Software Development Coordination Challenges: A Distinctive Advantage? In: 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Science, pp. 5309–5318 (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hildenbrand, T., Geisser, M., Kude, T., Bruch, D., Acker, T.: Agile Methodologies for Distributed Collaborative Development of Enterprise Applications. In: 2008 International Conference on Complex, Intelligent and Software Intensive Systems, pp. 540–545 (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Korkala, M., Abrahamsson, P.: Communication in Distributed Agile Development: A Case Study. In: 33rd EUROMICRO Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, pp. 203–210 (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dullemond, K., van Gameren, B., van Solingen, R.: How Technological Support Can Enable Advantages of Agile Software Development in a GSE Setting. In: 4th International Conference on Global Software Engineering, pp. 143–152 (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Niinimäki, T.: Face-to-face, Email and Instant Messaging in Distributed Agile Software Development Project. In: 6th International Conference on Global Software Engineering Workshop, pp. 78–84 (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dorairaj, S., Noble, J., Malik, P.: Knowledge Management in Distributed Agile Software Development. In: 2012 Agile Conference, pp. 63–73 (2012)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kajko-Mattsson, M., Azizyan, G., Magarian, M.K.: Classes of Distributed Agile Development Problems. In: 2010 Agile Conference, pp. 51–58 (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yin, R.K.: Applications of Case Study Research (Applied Social Research Methods). Sage Publications (2011)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Grenning, J.: Planning Poker or How to Avoid Analysis Paralysis While Release Planning (2002),
  18. 18.
    North, D.: Behavior Modification. The evolution of behavior-driven development. Better Software Magazine (March 2006)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Beck, K.: Test Driven Development By Example. Addison-Wesley Professional (2003)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Larman, C., Vodde, B.: Scaling Lean & Agile Development. Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum. Addison-Wesley, Boston (2009)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sutherland, J., Viktorov, A., Blount, J., Puntikov, N.: Distributed Scrum: Agile Project Management with Outsourced Development Teams. In: 40th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, p. 274a (2007)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Vax, M., Michaud, S.: Distributed Agile: Growing a Practice Together. In: 2008 Agile Conference, pp. 310–314 (2008)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Penttinen, M., Mikkonen, T.: Subcontracting for Scrum Teams: Experiences and Guidelines from a Large Development Organization. In: 7th International Conference on Global Software Engineering, pp. 195–199 (2012)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hossain, E., Ali Babar, M., Paik, H.: Using Scrum in Global Software Development: A Systematic Literature Review. In: 4th International Conference on Global Software Engineering, pp. 175–184 (2009)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jalali, S., Wohlin, C.: Agile Practices in Global Software Engineering – A Systematic Map. In: 5th International Conference on Global Software Engineering, pp. 45–54 (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raoul Vallon
    • 1
  • Stefan Strobl
    • 1
  • Mario Bernhart
    • 1
  • Thomas Grechenig
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Group for Industrial SoftwareVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations