The product owner in large-scale agile: An empirical study through the lens of relational coordination theory
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLecture Notes in Business Information Processing. 2019, 355 121-136. 10.1007/978-3-030-19034-7_8
In agile software development, a core responsibility of the product owner (PO) is to communicate business needs to the development team. In large-scale agile software development projects, many teams work toward an overall outcome, but they also need to manage interdependencies and coordinate efficiently. In such settings, POs need to coordinate knowledge about project status and goal attainment both within and across the development teams. Previous research has shown that the PO assumes a wide set of roles. Still, our knowledge about how POs coordinate amongst themselves and with their teams in large-scale agile is limited. In this case study, we explore PO coordination in a large-scale development program through the theoretical lens of Relational Coordination Theory. Our findings suggest that (1) coordination varies depending on the context of each PO, (2) a focus on achieving high-quality communication changes coordination over time, and (3) unscheduled coordination enables of high-quality communication.