When Distribution of Tasks and Skills Are Fundamentally Problematic: A Failure Story from Global Software Outsourcing

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Using ethnographic data, we provide a critical reflection on the discrepancies between the application of
agile development principles and the conditions which render these principles effective for global software
development work. This reflection is based on the analysis of a failed collaboration within a global software
project, which relied heavily on feedback from mundane project tools utilized for everyday coordination and
monitoring. Our study reveals that these tools hid serious issues relating to both the distribution of sociotechnical
skills and a discharge of accountability in task execution. As a result, markers of complex
collaborative problems were concealed. Furthermore, the imbalance evident in outsourcing setups, which is
enacted through high and low status task distribution among partners, further compounds collaboration
problems by emphasizing assumptions about remote workers in the absence of direct forms of knowledge
TidsskriftProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction (PACMHCI)
Udgave nummerCSCW
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2017

ID: 186525575