Call for Research Workshop Papers A Teams

MAY 21 - 25, 2019

Montréal, Canada


XP 2019 — 20th International Conference on Agile Software and Systems Development

An Agile Alliance Event

May 21-25 - Montréal, Québec, Canada


Call for papers, A-teams’19 (The Second International Workshop on Autonomous Agile Teams)

To succeed in complex environments like large-scale and heterogeneous teams handling innovation development and support, organizations have to find ways to support and regulate teams' autonomy according to the environmental demands and limitations. However, autonomous teams cannot be created simply by tearing down organizational hierarchies, or by instituting one-person-one-vote decision-making processes. Challenges implementing autonomous teams are communication problems, social loafing and group thinking. Further, the agile team is becoming more diverse with the introduction of DevOps and BizDevOps. While heterogenous agile teams create solutions with the highest value, the lowest value is also produced by such teams. Additionally, in large-scale there is a conflict between the need for alignment and team autonomy. Furthermore, they have to take into consideration the degree of change and uncertainty, and that there is no one-size-fits-all autonomy approach. The process of forming and implementing agile teams with high autonomy, as well as the effective functioning of such teams, are not yet adequately addressed and understood in the context of software development organizations.

Thus, there is a need for new knowledge on how organizations shall organize for the right level of team autonomy, and utilize autonomous agile teams, in order to attain better performance, productivity, innovation and value creation, and thus increase competitiveness. We seek to facilitate knowledge sharing about the current practice of autonomous software teams in agile development and also deepen the knowledge of principles of how these teams can succeed. We seek contributions in the form of position papers with experience reports, empirical studies, reviews of relevant literature, and papers arguing for research needs or describing planned research.

The goal of the workshop is to facilitate knowledge sharing about the current practice of autonomous agile teams and deepen the knowledge about practices and strategies that enable autonomous teams. There will be an invited keynote, short talks (lightning talks) followed by a highly interactive session using workshop techniques.

We invite researchers and practitioners to this second international workshop  to discuss how to succeed with teamwork in agile projects. One emerging question is “How can organizations give cross-functional agile teams the authority to set directions for new products so that organizations can deliver software more rapidly”?

Possible research questions to engage in, based on “Autonomous agile teams: challenges and future directions for research” (available at are:


  • How to design, support, and coach autonomous teams?
  • How do organizations build a capacity for shared leadership for autonomous teams in a multi-team setting?
  • How can businesses (customers) and the team create a shared understanding of the business objectives, create a common “purpose”?


  • How to coordinate dependencies among autonomous agile teams?
  • How to create a common awareness and understanding of the current state of the team and its tasks?
  • What are the effective intra- and inter-team coordination mechanisms for autonomous agile teams?
  • How can dependencies between teams be reduced and managed?
  • How can system architecture best support coordination of autonomous teams?

Organizational context:

  • How to balance the need for alignment and team autonomy in complex organizations and multi-team environments?
  • What is the right degree of autonomy in different contexts (and how to measure it)?
  • How to enable organizations to adapt to autonomous teams?
  • How to change the mindset of the wider organization to adopt agile autonomous teams?

Design of autonomous agile teams:

  • What are the effective team structures for autonomous agile teams?
  • What is the right team size for autonomous cross-functional teams?
  • How should agile practices be adjusted to promote effectiveness in cross-functional teams?

Team processes:

  • How to reduce stress in agile, highly motivated autonomous teams?
  • How to resolve conflicts between roles and teams and between teams and managers?
  • How to handle cultural differences and diversity in large-scale agile settings (e.g., age, gender, experience, culture, and field of expertise (biz vs dev))?
  • What communication practices are best and when?
  • How can communication tools such as Slack improve collaboration and coordination?


We ask for contributions in the form of 7-page short papers, which will be peer-reviewed by program committee members for acceptance or rejection. Extended and revised short-papers can be included in the post-conference proceedings published by (Springer).


Important dates

March 10, 2019: Submission deadline

April 10, 2018: Notification of acceptance/rejection

May 25, 2019: Workshop during XP2019, Montreal, Canada.


At least one author of each accepted paper must participate in the workshop and give a presentation based on the paper.

Papers are submitted as a PDF through EasyChair:

Submissions should follow the Springer template.


Workshop organizers:

Nils Brede Moe, SINTEF,

Viktoria Stray, University of Oslo,


Program committee:

Antonio Martini, University of Oslo

Bjørnar Tessem, University of Bergen

Dag Sjøberg, University of Oslo

Darja Šmite, Blekinge Institute of Technology

Gunnar Bergersen, University of Oslo

Jutta Eckstein, IT communication

Maria Paasivaara, IT-University of Copenhagen

Parastoo Mohagheghi, Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration

Marius Mikalsen, SINTEF

Rini Van Solingen, Delft University of Technology

Thomas Gustavsson, Karlstad Universitet, Karlstads Business School


Any questions may be directed to the workshop chair Nils Brede Moe or  Viktoria Stray,