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Artefacts in Large-Scale Agile


Large-scale offshore software development programmes are often high-value, complex and come with challenging deadlines. When dealing with projects of this size, failure can attract adverse publicity and often includes significant reputational damage. We needn't look any further than the situation that occurred when the British bank TSB attempted to migrate its customers accounts to the IT systems of Spanish company Banco Sabadell called Proteo4UK.

Upon moving 5.4 million customers and 1.3 billion records to the new system, complaints were coming in quick and fast with many customers being locked out of their accounts and some being given access to the confidential records of others, leaving the business and its loyal customers in panic as well as a PR nightmare.


To minimize this risk, agile software development methods are increasingly being adopted to support communication and coordination between multiple development teams. Through having cooperating teams within a single development project, tangible products called artefacts are created to help support coordination.


Over the years, Red Ocelot's Prof Julian M. Bass has conducted extensive research to identify 25 key artefacts. These artefacts can be organised into five categories:

  • feature

  • sprint

  • release

  • product

  • corporate governance


It was discovered that conventional agile artefacts are enriched with artefacts associated with plan-based methods on large-scale projects. Upon this discovery, evidence was collected to identify a primary owner of each artefact as well as mapping the artefacts to specific activities within each of the agile roles.


Through Prof. Bass' research it was also found that in large-scale agile offshore software development programmes, additional artefacts are required to coordinate the cooperating development teams. Seemingly the practitioners in the study improvised approaches to managing these additional artefacts. These additional artefacts were identified as being used to improve compliance with enterprise quality standards and technology strategies, whilst also mitigating risk of failure.

Through research and experience, Red Ocelot have conducted various projects that help businesses understand how they can best utilise artefacts within their operations to create a more efficient process.


To find out how Red Ocelot can assist you with managing large scale software development and agile approaches, contact us today using the form below.


To read the full research paper click here.

Bass, J. M. (2016). Artefacts and agile method tailoring in large-scale offshore software development programmes. Information and Software Technology, 75, 1–16.

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