DFG-Project TeamFLOW

The project has been approved by DFG in 2015 and interdisciplinarily elaborates on communication in software projects.


Project Name TeamFLOW: Interaction and Communication in Distributed Software Teams
Project Duration 2 years
Sponsor German Research Foundation (DFG) (Project Description)
Contact Jil Klünder, Fabian Kortum und Kurt Schneider


Development tasks have become too large and complex to be managed by single developers. Therefore, software engineering requires team work. In software teams, information like requirements and decisions needs to be passed on continuously in order to be able to implement customer requirements correctly. Insufficient communication about requirements is one of the factors that lead to project failure. In this project the term "requirements compliance" is used to indicate the accordance of demanded with implemented requirements. Implementation of superfluous features is unfavorable as well, because it binds unnecessary implementation capacities.

Effective communication is crucial to project success. However, close and direct communication is costly. Distributed software teams cannot travel permanently in order to work together at one location. It is necessary to balance appropriate media and communication paths. So far, project leaders need to rely on their intuition or simply follow guidelines of their companies. 

Project Goals

The TeamFLOW project aims at developing a diagnosis procedure for evaluating communication and interaction in distributed software development teams. Teams are enabled to assess whether project success is at risk due to lacking or inadequate communication. Users of the diagnosis procedure are supposed to recognize tendencies in time before project success starts to degrade.

Our interdisciplinary approach allows us to create a diagnosis procedure that combines different sources of information such as information flow, personal ratings, and direct measurement of behavior. The above-mentioned diagnosis procedure is based on an empirical longitudinal study of 40 software projects.

The completed DFG project InfoFLOW produced a method for capturing and improving the flow of documented information along with verbal and direct communication in one common model. In TeamFLOW, information flow and team members’ moods are captured on a weekly basis in order to examine interdependencies between information flows and moods. Video- based evaluation of early team meetings is performed by means of the “advanced interaction analysis 4 teams” instrument (advanced during DFG project Competence as a Key to Successful Teamwork). This allows for an assessment of the interaction behavior in meetings and its impact on the project’s success throughout the further course of the project.


  • 2017
  • Jil Klünder, Kurt Schneider: Informationsfluss in verteilten Softwareprojekten - Eine Einzelfallstudie, In PERSONALquarterly, 02/2017, 2017. Bibtex.
  • Jil Klünder, Lisa Handke, Torsten Gfesser, Kurt Schneider, Simone Kauffeld: Soziale Aspekte traditioneller und hybrider Softwareentwicklung, In Proceedings of the 15th Workshop on ''Software Engineering im Unterricht der Hochschulen'' (SEUH 2017). CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 2017. Bibtex. Link
  • 2016
  • Stephan Kiesling, Jil Klünder, Diana Fischer, Kurt Schneider, Kai Fischbach: Applying Social Network Analysis and Centrality Measures to Improve Information Flow Analysis, In Product-Focused Software Process Improvement. Springer International Publishing, 2016. Bibtex. Link
  • Fabian Kortum, Jil Klünder, Kurt Schneider: Miscommunication in Software Projects: Early Recognition Through Tendency Forecasts, In Product-Focused Software Process Improvement: 17th International Conference, PROFES 2016, Trondheim, Norway, November 22-24, 2016, Proceedings. Springer International Publishing, 2016. Bibtex. Link
  • Jil Klünder, Oliver Karras, Fabian Kortum, Kurt Schneider: Forecasting Communication Behavior in Student Software Projects, In Proceedings of the The 12th International Conference on Predictive Models and Data Analytics in Software Engineering, 2016. Bibtex. Link
  • Fabian Kortum, Jil Klünder: Early Diagnostics on Team Communication - Experience-Based Forecasts on Student Software Projects, In QUATIC 2016: 10th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology, 2016. Bibtex.
  • Jil Klünder, Kurt Schneider, Fabian Kortum, julia Straube, Lisa Handke, Simone Kauffeld: Communication in Teams - An Expression of Social Conflicts, In Human-Centered and Error-Resilient Systems Development: IFIP WG 13.2/13.5 Joint Working Conference, 6th International Conference on Human-Centered Software Engineering, HCSE 2016, and 8th International Conference on Human Error, Safety, and System Development, HESSD 2016, Stockholm, Sweden, August 29-31, 2016, Proceedings, pages 111-129. Springer International Publishing, 2016. Bibtex. Link
  • 2015
  • Kurt Schneider, Olga Liskin, Hilko Paulsen, Simone Kauffeld: Media, Mood, and Meetings: Related to Project Success?, In ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) 15(4), 21, 2015. Bibtex.
  • Kurt Schneider, Olga Liskin: Exploring FLOW Distance in Project Communication, In Proceedings of 8th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE '15), ICSE 2015, 2015. Bibtex.
  • 2013
  • Olga Liskin, Kurt Schneider, Stephan Kiesling, Simone Kauffeld: Meeting Intensity as an Indicator for Project Pressure: Exploring Meeting Profiles, In Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE 2013), ICSE 2013, San Francisco, USA, 2013. Bibtex. PDF herunterladen Link
  • Kurt Schneider, Olga Liskin, Hilko Paulsen, Simone Kauffeld: Requirements Compliance as a Measure of Project Success, In Proceedings of the 4th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2013), 2013. Bibtex.

Further TeamFLOW References


Students' theses