Requirements Engineering for Globally Distributed Teams using Scaled Agile Framework

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Software and Service Engineering
Degree programme
Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences
As large organizations are striving to deliver software at a faster pace and to keep up with the latest trends, they are in a transformation stage of adopting to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). SAFe is a framework for implementing agile practices at enterprise level and it provides a roadmap for portfolios, programs and teams. Large organizations adopting to SAFe are facing challenges in coordinating, planning and managing requirements, as they work with globally distributed teams. The goal of this thesis was to improve the Requirements Engineering (RE) process using Scaled Agile Framework in globally distributed teams. The main research method used in this thesis was action research, an iterative approach which combines theory and practice. The empirical study was conducted in a large project that used SAFe and had eight globally distributed teams. In order to investigate the challenges faced by globally distributed teams, analysis of the existing literature and RE process flow in SAFe was important. It served as a good input to understand which good RE practices can be applied in the empirical study. The results of the study show that visually representing requirements as models and sharing domain and system knowledge through Community of Practice (CoP) reduced ambiguity in requirements. The good RE practice applied in SAFe, of working and improving collaboratively with the globally distributed teams helped in better coordination and managing of requirements. In addition to this, it was also essential to have SAFe training to develop clear and shared understanding of the framework and RE process. The lessons learned from the empirical study indicate that a well-organized PI planning is the key RE practice of SAFe in providing the big picture of requirements to all members in distributed teams. In addition, Community of Practice (CoP) can be a key RE practice of SAFe in sharing knowledge such as business domain, system knowledge, skills and techniques, and experiences.
Kauppinen, Marjo
Thesis advisor
Manninen,, Maarit
Requirements Engineering (RE), RE process, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), globally distributed teams
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