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Globally Distributed Agile Teams: An Exploratory Study of the Dimensions Contributing to Successful Team Configuration

Description: Drawing upon configurational theory, work group design research, virtualness concepts, and the software agility literature, the purpose of this study was to provide a starting point for theorizing about the successful configuration of globally distributed agile teams by exploring the dimensions of team structure, virtualness, and agility. Due to the complex nature of this topic, the need to examine the phenomenon within its natural setting, and the limited amount of research that has been conducted in this particular area, this study adopted an embedded multiple-case research design. The primary data collection method consisted of semi-structured interviews involving members of globally distributed agile teams within three U.S. based organizations with members located in distributed sights in multiple countries. Additional data were collected from archival records. Within-case and cross-analysis was conducted using qualitative data analysis software. This study provides a starting point for answering the question of how the configuration of globally distributed agile teams differs from the configuration of other types of globally distributed teams; it synthesizes past research and findings into a comprehensive theoretical framework; it provides a starting point for theorizing about the successful configuration of globally distributed agile teams; it helps practitioners to identify and address the challenges related to the configuration of globally distributed agile teams; and it presents a set of best practices which will inform organizations on how to configure their globally distributed agile teams.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Sharp, Jason H.
Partner: UNT Libraries