Trust in agile teams in distributed software development

Gitte Tjørnehøj, Mette Fransgård, Signe Skalkam

Publikation: AndetAndet bidragForskning


Distributed software development (DSD) is becoming everyday practice in the software market. Difficult challenges and difficulty reaching the expected benefits are well documented. Recently agile software development has become common in DSD, even though important incompatibilities between the challenges of DSD and the key tenets of agility are reported. This introduces new challenges for organizations that need to balance the approaches in order to achieve beneficial distributed and agile practices. Trust could be a key in this, since trust is crucial for the necessary corporate behavior that leads to team success. This article reports from a study of two agile DSD teams with very different organization and collaboration patterns. It addresses the role of trust and distrust in DSD by analyzing how the team members’ trust developed and erode through the lifetime of the two collaborations and how management actions influenced this. We find that some agile practice can empower teams to take over responsibility for managing their own trust building and sustaining and that management neglect of trust-building in other situations can hinder the development of beneficial balanced agile DSD practices.
StatusUdgivet - 2012
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Distributed software development, agility, trust building