Adoption of Team Estimation in a Specialist Organizational Environment

(Research paper, 30 min) [ Slides ]

Author(s): Tor Erlend Fægri (Sintef)
Session: Learning and Improvement
Session chair: Tore Dybå (SINTEF)
Date: Thursday, 3 June 2010: Main Conference
Time: 13:30-15:00
Specialist organizational environments and lack of redundant knowl- edge reduce flexibility and therefore inhibits transition to agile development. This action research reports from the adoption of team estimation as a vehicle to increase redundant knowledge within a group of specialists. The group suf- fered from low levels of group learning legitimized by high work pressure and a specialist organizational environment. This resulted in poor planning and opti- mistic task estimates which contributed to increase the work pressure even higher. I framed the research as double-loop learning; I illustrate how different barriers to team estimation arose from conflicts with existing efficiency norms and then how benefits from team estimation created sufficient momentum to change practice. The results are obtained from qualitative analysis of empirical data gathered during one year of collaboration with the group. The article con- tributes to understanding of barriers to group learning and agile adoption in software organizations.

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