Global software engineering and agile practices: a systematic review

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Samireh Jalali, Claes Wohlin
Title: Global software engineering and agile practices: a systematic review
Journal: Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution – Research and Practice
Year: 2012
Volume: 24
Issue: 6
Pagination: 643–659
ISSN: 1532-0618
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
URI/DOI: 10.1002/smr.561
ISI number: 000308719900004
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Computing (Sektionen för datavetenskap och kommunikation)
School of Computing S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:,
Language: English
Abstract: Agile practices have received attention from industry as an alternative to plan-driven software development approaches. Agile encourages, for example, small self-organized collocated teams, whereas global software engineering (GSE) implies distribution across cultural, temporal, and geographical boundaries. Hence, combining them is a challenge. A systematic review was conducted to capture the status of combining agility with GSE. The results were limited to peer-reviewed conference papers or journal articles, published between 1999 and 2009. The synthesis was made through classifying the papers into different categories (e.g. publication year, contribution type, research method). At the end, 81 papers were judged as primary for further analysis. The distribution of papers over the years indicated that GSE and Agile in combination has received more attention in the last 5 years. However, the majority of the existing research is industrial experience reports in which Agile practices were modified with respect to the context and situational requirements. The emergent need in this research area is suggested to be developing a framework that considers various factors from different perspectives when incorporating Agile in GSE. Practitioners may use it as a decision-making basis in early phases of software development.
Subject: Software Engineering\General
Keywords: Agile practices, global software engineering, distributed software development, systematic review