Large-scale Agile: From Communities of Practice to Community Based Decision Making — Case Ericsson

Guest Lecture by Maria Paasivaara, Helsinki
Friday, April 7th, 12.30-14.00
Room 2A52

Big software development organizations are increasingly taking agile methods into use in large and globally distributed projects. In such contexts, inter-team coordination and decision making has proven to be challenging. During this talk, I will present findings from our longitudinal case study in the telecom company Ericsson. We have studied their large-scale agile transformation since 2011. One of our main discoveries is related to their innovative use of Communities of Practice (CoP). CoP is group of experts who share a common interest or topic and want to collectively deepen their knowledge. At Ericsson CoPs were used to support the agile transformation and to coordinate, communicate and make design decisions across the collaborating teams in large-scale agile set-up. Finally, when virtualizing the product into the SaaS (Software-as-a-service) world, they flattened the organization further and moved to community based decision making. The community—the development teams and the Product Owners, collaboratively make all technical decisions and choose development strategies, as well as decide on the development organization’s ways of working.

Short Bio:
Dr. Maria Paasivaara works as a Research Fellow at Aalto University, Finland. Her research interests include global software engineering, agile software development, large-scale agile, continuous software engineering, DevOps and software engineering education studies. She studies software engineering empirically, in close collaboration with companies such as Ericsson, Nokia and F-Secure.