Agile distributed environments pose particular challenges related to control of quality and collaboration in software development. Moreover, while face-to-face interaction is fundamental in agile development, distributed environments must rely extensively on mediated interactions. On this backdrop, we report from an in-depth case study of an agile distributed software project. Applying Kirsch’s elements of control framework, we analyze how actors in this context used different elements of control. We offer a description of the general management context and provide a detailed analysis of how control was mediated over distance by technology through real-time exchanges. Contrary to previous research, the analysis suggests that both formal and informal elements of real-time mediated control were used; that evolving goals and adjustment of expectations were two of the main issues in real-time mediated control exchanges; and, that the actors, despite distances in space and culture, developed a clan-like pattern mediated by technology to help control quality and collaboration in software development.
Persson, John S.; Aaen, Ivan; and Mathiassen, Lars, "Real-Time Control Mediation in Agile Distributed Software Development" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. 293.