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Managing the requirements flow from strategy to release in large-scale agile development: A case study at Ericsson

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dc.contributor.author Heikkilä, Ville T.
dc.contributor.author Paasivaara, Maria
dc.contributor.author Lasssenius, Casper
dc.contributor.author Damian, Daniela
dc.contributor.author Engblom, Christian
dc.date.accessioned 2019-03-13T05:24:21Z
dc.date.available 2019-03-13T05:24:21Z
dc.date.copyright 2017 en_US
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.citation Heikkilä, V. T.; Paasivaara, M.; Lasssenius, C.; Damian, D.; & Engblom, C. (2017). Managing the requirements flow from strategy to release in large-scale agile development: A case study at Ericsson. Empirical Software Engineering, 22(6), 2892-2936. DOI: 10.1007/s10664-016-9491-z en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://doi.org/10.1007/s10664-016-9491-z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/10646
dc.description.abstract In a large organization, informal communication and simple backlogs are not sufficient for the management of requirements and development work. Many large organizations are struggling to successfully adopt agile methods, but there is still little scientific knowledge on requirements management in large-scale agile development organizations. We present an in-depth study of an Ericsson telecommunications node development organization which employs a large scale agile method to develop telecommunications system software. We describe how the requirements flow from strategy to release, and related benefits and problems. Data was collected by 43 interviews, which were analyzed qualitatively. The requirements management was done in three different processes, each of which had a different process model, purpose and planning horizon. The release project management process was plan-driven, feature development process was continuous and implementation management process was agile. The perceived benefits included reduced development lead time, increased flexibility, increased planning efficiency, increased developer motivation and improved communication effectiveness. The recognized problems included difficulties in balancing planning effort, overcommitment, insufficient understanding of the development team autonomy, defining the product owner role, balancing team specialization, organizing system-level work and growing technical debt. The study indicates that agile development methods can be successfully employed in organizations where the higher level planning processes are not agile. Combining agile methods with a flexible feature development process can bring many benefits, but large-scale software development seems to require specialist roles and significant coordination effort. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship We would like to thank Oy LM Ericsson Ab for making this study possible, all the anonymous interviewees for providing valuable contributions to this research and Kaisa Kettunen for reviewing the manuscript. This research was financially supported by TEKES (the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) as a part of the Cloud Software Finland program of DIGILE and the Need for Speed program of DIMECC. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Empirical Software Engineering en_US
dc.subject scaling agile software development en_US
dc.subject requirements management en_US
dc.subject scrum en_US
dc.subject large projects en_US
dc.subject telecommunications software en_US
dc.title Managing the requirements flow from strategy to release in large-scale agile development: A case study at Ericsson en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Faculty en_US
dc.description.reviewstatus Reviewed en_US


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