Enabling team autonomy in a large public organization

Parastoo Mohagheghi*, Casper Lassenius, Ingrid Omang Bakken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


This paper describes how autonomy emerged in a team in a large public organization and which factors were important in this process. The organization has back sourced software development and abandoned a stage-based software development process with many handovers between business, IT and vendors. We collected data in four semi-structured interviews and analyzed information on changes in the structure and responsibilities of the team. The team has refined its portfolio for better cohesion, stepwise taken over the responsibility for software development from the vendor and in parallel recruited software developers, UX designers and testers. Product owners have joined the team as well. Supported by changes to the financing model, the team has transformed from mediating between business and vendors to a cross-functional product team with autonomy over its budget, backlog and software development process. As a result, the team can better balance between delivering new features and quality improvements, continuously deliver software with less overhead and focus on its mission to deliver user-friendly services with increased involvement of domain experts. Defining a clear product boundary and reducing dependencies on other teams, developing necessary skills and changing the financing model are recognized as the main success factors, as well as the main challenges in the transition process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming – Workshops - XP 2020 Workshops, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsMaria Paasivaara, Philippe Kruchten
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783030588571
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Agile Software Development - Virtual, Online, Denmark
Duration: 14 Jun 202118 Jun 2021
Conference number: 22

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
Volume396 LNBIP
ISSN (Print)1865-1348
ISSN (Electronic)1865-1356


ConferenceInternational Conference on Agile Software Development
Abbreviated titleXP
CityVirtual, Online


  • Agile
  • Autonomous team
  • Backsourcing
  • Outsourcing


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