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Exploring the distributed development of Grid infrastructure for Particle Physics at the LHC: A case of Scaled Agility?

Date & Time:
15:00:00 - 17:00:00,
Tuesday 6 November, 2007


There has long been a debate in system development centered on the dichotomy between control and innovation, exemplified in recent years by the movement for agile methods. This presentation will describe research undertaken within the EPSRC funded Pegasus project to explore the working practices of the UK particle physics community in their development of Grid infrastructure to support their research at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The presentation will aim to bring some theoretical underpinning to discourse on Agility by drawing upon the literature of organizational improvisation. Through our empirical examination of particle physics’ development practices we present improvisation-paradoxes evident in their practice, and so reveal a new vision of Scaled Agility. This reflects the encompassing adoption of an improvisational approach, drawing upon the traditions of organizing physics experiments and their discursive and reflective practices. Agility on such a scale inevitably brings with it paradoxical tensions, yet here it is argued they provide the energy to hold together a distributed community developing a distributed Grid system for the LHC.

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  • Name: Dr Will Venters
  • Affiliation: Lecturer, Department of Information Systems, LSE, and Principal
    Investigator on the Pegasus project
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