Spontaneous utilization: a classic grounded theory of utilizing ambient displays in professional, large-scale agile software development environments

Jan Schwarzer*, Susanne Draheim, Kai von Luck, Qi Wang, Christos Grecos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This research addresses an interdisciplinary problem area concerning the long-term deployment of socially embedded technology in authentic environments. It concentrates on the case of ambient displays, where long-term research in the real world is still scant and evidentially requires methodological development. This study seeks to advance on this situation at both findings and methodological levels. To this end, we introduce our Ambient Surfaces solution that was deployed in the agile software development department of a company for circa 5 years. Classic grounded theory was chosen to methodologically guide the evaluation, while the theoretical contribution of this work is a substantive theory exemplified by its core category of Spontaneous utilization. The theory reveals insights on how ambient displays are utilized by practitioners in professional and large-scale agile environments. We found, among others, that staff members used the Ambient Surfaces largely not on purpose, that our solution evolved towards having a strong emphasis on progress tracking information, and that inter-team awareness as well as intra-team communication were encouraged.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • ambient displays
  • field deployment research
  • grounded theory
  • large-scale agile software development
  • methodological development
  • substantive theory

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