Logo PTI
Polish Information Processing Society
Logo FedCSIS

Annals of Computer Science and Information Systems, Volume 15

Proceedings of the 2018 Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems

Lessons Learned on Communication Channels and Practices in Agile Software Development

, , ,

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15439/2018F72

Citation: Proceedings of the 2018 Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, M. Ganzha, L. Maciaszek, M. Paprzycki (eds). ACSIS, Vol. 15, pages 929938 ()

Full text

Abstract. Communication plays an important role in Agile Software Development (ASD). In each ASD practice (e.g., stand-up or retrospective meetings), different communication practices and channels are adopted by different companies. Several works have analyzed the impact of communication channels and practices. However, there are no secondary studies summarizing their impact on ASD. This study presents a Systematic Mapping Study (SMS) that aggregates, summarizes, and discusses the results of 25 relevant primary studies concerning the impact of communication channels and practices in ASD. We followed the well-known systematic mapping methodology in software engineering and analyzed empirical studies published before the end of June 2018. The results of our study have yielded several strategies that can be adopted by practitioners. Communication practices are context dependent. In the case of a distributed team, blended usage of rich-media communication tools, such as shared mind-map tools, videoconferencing, and promoting the exchange of team members between teams, is beneficial. In conclusion, communication can be expensive if teams do not apply the right strategies. Future research direction is to understand how to maximize product quality while reducing communication cost and how to identify the most beneficial communication strategy for the different stages of ASD.


  1. Yin R.K. , “Case Study Research: Design and Methods”, 4th edition, Sage, 2009.
  2. Petersen, K., Vakkalanka, S., Kuzniarz, L.,”Guidelines for conducting systematic mapping studies in software engineering: An update”. Information and Software Technology. vol. 64, pp. 1-18. 2015.
  3. Wohlin, C., “Guidelines for snowballing in systematic literature studies and a replication in software engineering”. 18th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE '14), Article 38. 2014.
  4. Kitchenham, B., Charters, S., “Guidelines for Performing Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering”, Version 2.3. 2007.
  5. D. Taibi and Lenarduzzi, V. , “MVP explained: A Systematic Mapping on the Definition of Minimum Viable Product”, in Proceedings of the 42th Euromicro Conference Series on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, 2016
  6. Espinosa J.A. and Carmel E., “The impact of time separation on coordination in global software teams: a conceptual foundation”. Software Process: Improvement and Practice. vol. 8(4), pp. 249–266. 2003.
  7. Harbring, C. “The effect of communication in incentive systems—an experimental study”. Manage. Decis. Econ., vol. 27. pp. 333–353. 2006.
  8. Malone T. W. and Crowston K., “The interdisciplinary study of coordination”. ACM Comp. Surv. v. 26(1), p. 87-119. 1994.
  9. Carmel E. and Agarwal R., “Tactical Approaches for Alleviating Distance in Global Software Development”. IEEE Softw. vol. 18(2), pp. 22-29. 2001.
  10. Herbsleb, J.D. and Mockus A., “An empirical study of speed and communication in globally distributed software development”. IEEE trans. on Soft. Eng. v. 9(6), p. 1-14. 2003.
  11. Henttonen K. and Kirsimarja B., “Managing distance in a global virtual team: the evolution of trust through technology-mediated relational communication”. Strat. Change. vol.14. pp. 107–119. 2005.
  12. Korkala M., Abrahamsson P., and Kyllonen P., A case study on the impact of customer communication on defects in agile software development. AGILE 2006, pp. 76-88, 2006.
  13. Melnik, G., and Maurer, F., Direct Verbal Communication as a Catalyst of Agile Knowledge Sharing. AGILE 2004, 2004.
  14. Sarker, S., and Sarker, S., Exploring Agility in Distributed Information Systems Development Teams: An Interpretive Study in an Offshoring Context. Information Systems Research, Vol.20(3), pp.440-461, 2009.
  15. Wang, X., Conboy, K., and Pikkarainen, M., Assimilation of agile practices in use. Information Systems Journal. Vol 22(6), pp. 435-455, 2012.
  16. Pikkarainen, M., Haikara, J., Salo, O., Abrahamsson, P., and Still, J., The impact of agile practices on communication in software development. Empirical Software Engineering. Vol. 13(3), pp. 303-337, 2008.
  17. Koskela, J., and Abrahamsson, P., On-Site Customer in an XP Project: Empirical Results from a Case Study. Torgeir Dingsøyr (Ed.) Software Process Improvement, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp.1-11, 2004.
  18. Mishra, D., and Mishra, A., Effective communication, collaboration, and coordination in eXtreme Programming: Human-centric perspective in a small organization. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries. Vol 19(5), pp.438-456, 2009.
  19. Mishra, D., Mishra, A., and Ostrovska, S., Impact of physical ambiance on communication, collaboration and coordination in agile software development: An empirical evaluation. Information and Software Technology. Vol 54(10), pp.1067-1078, 2012.
  20. Bhalerao, S., Puntambekar, D. and Ingle, M., Generalized agile software development life cycle. International Journal of Computer Science and Engineering. Vol I (3), 2009.
  21. Turner, R. and Boehm, B., Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed. Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing Co., Inc., Boston, MA, USA. 2003
  22. Taibi, D., Lenarduzzi, V., Ahmad, M.O., and Liukkunen, K.,. “Comparing Communication Effort within the Scrum, Scrum with Kanban, XP, and Banana Development Processes”. EASE. pp. 258-263. 2017.
  23. Ahmad, M.O, Denis, D, Kieran, C, and Markku, O. "Kanban in software engineering: A systematic mapping study." Journal of Systems and Software 137 (2018): 96-113.
  24. B.A. Kitchenham, D. Budgen, O.P. Brereton. “Using mapping studies as the basis for further research–a participant-observer case study” Inf. Softw. Technol., 53 (6) (2011), pp. 638-651.
  25. D. Taibi, Lenarduzzi, V. , Janes, A., Liukkunen, K. , and Ahmad, M. Ovais, “Comparing Requirements Decomposition Within the Scrum, Scrum with Kanban, XP, and Banana Development Processes” XP 2017
  26. B. Rizvi, E. Bagheri, D. Gasevic, D. “A systematic review of distributed Agile software engineering”. Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, 27(10), 723–762. 2015.
  27. E. Hossain, M.A. Babar, H.Y. Paik “Using scrum in global software development: a systematic literature review”. ICGSE 2009. pp. 175-184.
  28. Y.I. Alzoubi, A.Q. Gill, A. Al-Ani. “Empirical studies of geographically distributed agile development communication challenges: a systematic review” Inf. Management, 53 (1), pp. 22-37. 2016
  29. R. Vallon, B.J.d.S. Estácio, R. Prikladnicki, T. Grechenig. “Systematic literature review on agile practices in global software development” Information and Software Technology, Vol(96), pp. 161-180 2018
  30. R. Hoda, N. Salleh, J. Grundy, H. Mien Tee.. Systematic literature reviews in agile software development. Inf. Softw. Technol. 85, C (May 2017), 60-70. 2017.
  31. Ahmad, M. O., Markkula, J., & Oivo, M. (2013, September). Kanban in software development: A systematic literature review. In Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA), 2013 39th EUROMICRO Conference on. pp. 9-16.