Contextual Customisation of Agile Methods for GSD

Popularity of Agile methods and wide spread adoption of different forms of Global Software Development (GSD) have been encouraging several efforts aimed at exploring the potential advantages and disadvantages of applying Agile methods in GSD arrangements. Several research and industrial efforts and their outcomes aimed at combining Agile and GSD have been published in scientific and practitioner oriented literature – an emerging consensual message in nutshell is – context based customisation – Agile methods in general and Scrum in particular can be deployed in GSD arrangements with appropriate tweaking and customisation depending upon the contextual factors such as nature of domain, number of teams, amount of time difference, and number of cultural backgrounds. Now the efforts are being geared towards understanding the customisation antecedents and strategies of specific Agile methods for different GSD arrangements based on different contextual factors. The outcomes of such efforts are revealing interesting and useful insights into the needs and mechanisms of contextual tweaking of Agile methods in GSD – Yesterday (28 August, 2013), I chaired a session, Tweaking Agile Methods for GSD, at the International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE) in Bari, Italy, where three such efforts provided very useful findings. Three presenters Maria Paasivaara, Stephan Salinger, and Julian M. Bass shared interesting findings from their research efforts.
Marie’s presentations on, Integrating Global Sites into the Agile and Lean Transformation at Ericsson, shared observations from their study of Ericsson finland’s initiative of integrating three different sites, Finland, Hungary, and USA, for a product development efforts using agile and lean approaches. Stephen’s talk, Doing Scrum Rather Than Being Agile – A Case Study on Actual Nearshoring Practices, was based on their study of the use of Scrum in a client vendor relationship between two companies based on Germany (Client) and Poland (Vendor). Julian presented his work, Agile Method Tailoring in Distributed Enterprises: Product Owner Teams, aimed at understanding role specific customisation and practices of Agile methods in GSD context for large scale enterprise information systems, which are business critical – the presented work was focused on the role of product owner. The talks were based on their papers which can be found in the proceedings of the ICGSE 2013 published by IEEE Computer Society.