CLOSED: Large-Scale Agile Development: Call for Papers


Submission deadline: CLOSED

Publication: Mar./Apr. 2019

Since the formulation of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, agile methods have transformed software development. Scrum is now the common framework for development in most countries, and other methods such as Extreme Programming and elements of lean software development such as Kanban are in widespread use.

Agile development methods were made for small, colocated development teams. They were originally thought to work for web systems but are now used in a range of domains, including mission-critical systems. Large projects with a number of teams that develop complex systems have started using agile methods. Practitioners have suggested new methods to handle development in the large.

As developers use agile techniques on large-scale projects, new challenges arise. Methods designed for single teams of five to nine developers are now used in projects or programs with tens of teams and hundreds of developers. This can involve integration with numerous existing systems and affect thousands of users.

To date, there has been little research-based advice on how to manage agile development at scale. For this theme issue, we seek contributions on how to deal with the challenges and assumptions in agile development that break when you use agile methods in large software development projects and programs. Topics of interest include, but aren’t restricted to,

  • architectural work;
  • customer involvement;
  • coordination;
  • frameworks for handling large-scale applications—for example, SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum), Nexus, and Scrum at Scale;
  • DevOps in the large;
  • knowledge management;
  • release planning;
  • project and portfolio management; and
  • uncertainty management.

We seek to establish research-based advice based on solid empirical studies and relevant established theories. We’re particularly interested in empirical studies of extreme cases with respect to the number of teams or people involved in the development projects.


For more information about the focus, contact the guest editors:

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must not exceed 3,000 words including figures and tables, which count for 250 words each. Submissions exceeding these limits might be rejected without refereeing. Articles deemed within the theme and scope will be peer reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. We reserve the right to edit the title of all submissions. Be sure to include the name of the theme for which you’re submitting.

Articles should have a practical orientation and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented or theoretical treatments aren’t appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software doesn’t republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference or workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or electronic form.


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