Identifying Coordination Problems in Software Development: Finding Mismatches between Software and Project Team Structures

Chintan Amrit, Jos van Hillegersberg, Kuldeep Kumar

Today's dynamic and iterative development environment brings significant challenges for software project management. In distributed project settings, "management by walking around" is no longer an option and project managers may miss out on key project insights. The TESNA (TEchnical Social Network Analysis) method and tool aims to provide project managers both a method and a tool for gaining insights and taking corrective action. TESNA achieves this by analysing a project's evolving social and technical network structures using data from multiple sources, including CVS, email and chat repositories. Using pattern theory, TESNA helps to identify areas where the current state of the project's social and technical networks conflicts with what patterns suggest. We refer to such a conflict as a Socio-Technical Structure Clash (STSC). In this paper we report on our experience of using TESNA to identify STSCs in a corporate environment through the mining of software repositories. We find multiple instances of three STSCs (Conway's Law, Code Ownership and Project Coordination) in many of the on-going development projects, thereby validating the method and tool that we have developed.

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