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Modeling and Analysis of Boundary Objects and Methodological Islands in Large-Scale Systems Development

by   Rebekka Wohlrab, et al.

Large-scale companies commonly face the challenge of managing relevant knowledge between different organizational groups, particularly in increasingly agile contexts. In previous studies, we found the importance of analyzing methodological islands (i.e., groups using different development methods than the surrounding organization) and boundary objects between them. In this paper, we propose a metamodel to better capture and analyze coordination and knowledge management in practice. Such a metamodel can allow practitioners to describe current practices, analyze issues, and design better-suited coordination mechanisms. We evaluated the conceptual model together with four large-scale companies developing complex systems. In particular, we derived an initial list of bad smells that can be leveraged to detect issues and devise suitable improvement strategies for inter-team coordination in large-scale development. We present the model, smells, and our evaluation results.


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