Research problem: Communication affects many aspects of the software engineering process. In addition, poor team communication is often a root cause of failure for complex engineering projects. In global software engineering, communication and coordination become more challenging, and that fact affects the quality of the product. The goal of this study is to analyze the type and quality of research performed on software development team communication, and to present data to guide future research in these areas. Research questions: (1) How much communication research activity in the area of software development teams has been described in the literature from 2005 to 2015? (2) What is the current state of software development team communication research (what has been done and to what degree)? (3) What is the predominant research methodology of software development team communication research? (4) Where are the gaps in the current state of software development team communication research? (5) What are the major, common findings about communication in software development teams? Methodology: We reviewed 184 journal papers and performed a content analysis of the keywords from the relevant papers to create a software engineering team research taxonomy. We utilized this taxonomy to categorize the context of communication research papers. We then used the categorization results to determine the most active software development team communication research areas. In addition, we analyzed the quality of the journals (using impact factor and H-index as metrics) and the type of research performed in these areas (i.e., qualitative, quantitative, survey, social network analysis, or literature review). Results and conclusions: The results showed that the most active software development team communication research areas are global software development, project effectiveness, and effective teamwork. The most prevalent research methodology is a survey among those research areas. We conclude this paper with a presentation and discussion of the major findings of each research paper as well as the common themes among those findings in each of the top research areas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Industrial relations
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering