Inter-team coordination in large-scale agile development: A test of organizational discontinuity theory

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


The Large-Scale Agile Development Workshop, XP Conference (2016)


We draw on Organizational Discontinuity Theory (ODT) to identify factors that increase communication and coordination problems between teams working on large software development projects. ODT posits that faced with a disruption in the expected flow of communication, called a discontinuity, individuals must make sense of the disruption to address the problem. They may be motivated to pay more attention to the situation and consider alternative actions to deal with the discontinuity, leading to the emergence of continuities, which are new behaviors, group practices and expectations. Continuities reduce or eliminate the attention and effort required to understand and manage the situation associated with problematic discontinuities. We propose a mixed-method study based on this model to examine the effects of discontinuities and the development of continuities on inter-team coordination in large-scale agile software development.

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