The use of prototypes to bridge knowledge boundaries in agile software development

Huber, Thomas L.; Winkler, Maike A.E.; Dibbern, Jens; Brown, Carol V. (2020). The use of prototypes to bridge knowledge boundaries in agile software development. Information systems journal, 30(2), pp. 270-294. Wiley 10.1111/isj.12261

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Bridging knowledge boundaries among project team members is essential to prevent delays or complete failure of software development projects. Prior researchers have reported that software prototypes can be used to help bridge knowledge boundaries between team members in traditional software development settings, yet their use in an agile development setting remains unexplored. Agile development centers the interactions between team members on emerging representations of the prototype whose properties are prone to change over time. Therefore, we conducted an in‐depth study of an agile development project to enhance our understanding on how software prototypes are used as boundary objects in a distributed team setting. Our analyses of team member interactions during 46 virtual meetings that took place over a period of 6 months revealed four different prototype use practices (exemplifying, contrasting, relating, framing) that were effective in bridging syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic knowledge boundaries. We also provide empirically grounded evidence of how variations in object properties can afford different use practices, how the use practices take advantage of these properties, and how object properties are reshaped through these use practices as different types of knowledge boundaries are bridged. These findings bear important implications for research on prototypes as boundary objects in software development in particular and boundary object use in general.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems > Information Engineering
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems

UniBE Contributor:

Dibbern, Jens

Subjects:

000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
600 Technology

ISSN:

1365-2575

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Gowthaman Udayakumar

Date Deposited:

03 Dec 2019 09:37

Last Modified:

29 Sep 2020 12:20

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/isj.12261

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.135700

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/135700

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