Kai Stapel, Eric Knauss, Kurt Schneider, Nico Zazworka:
»FLOW Mapping: Planning and Managing Communication in Distributed Teams«

Distributed software development is more difficult than co-located software development. One of the main reasons is that communication is more difficult in distributed settings. Defined processes and artifacts help, but cannot cover all information needs. Not communicating important project information, decisions and rationales can result in duplicate or extra work, delays or even project failure. Planning and managing a distributed project from an information flow perspective helps to facilitate available communication channels right from the start - beyond the documents and artifacts which are defined for a given development process. In this paper we propose FLOW Mapping, a systematic approach for planning and managing information flows in distributed projects. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach with a case study in a distributed agile class room project. FLOW Mapping is sufficient to plan communication and to measure conformance to the communication strategy. We also discuss cost and impact of our approach.