Routine and Standardization in Global Software Development
Association for Computing Machinery
We present an ethnographic field study of a distributed software development team following the Scrum methodology. During a two-week period, we observed from both sites the collaboration between a Danish software company off-shoring part of their development to an Indian solution provider. Collaboration by its very definition is based on the notion of dependency in work between multiple people. Articulation work is the extra work required to handle these dependencies. In a globally distributed team, managing these dependencies is exacerbated due to the distances of time, space, and culture. To broaden our understanding of dependencies in a global context and how they influence work practices, we made them the focus of our analysis. The main contributions of this paper are (i) an empirical account of the dependencies that are part of the collaborative work in a global software development team, (ii) a discussion of the interlinked properties of dependencies, and (iii) an explanation of how the practices of standardization and routine are developed and used to manage these dependencies.