Analyzing the Applicability of an Agile Methodology to Distributed Collaborative Software Development

Hildenbrand, Tobias ; Geisser, Michael ; Bruch, Denis

HiGB07_Arbeitspapier_4_2007_Agile_DSD.pdf - Published

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-16458
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2007
The title of a journal, publication series: None
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Sonstige - Fakultät für Betriebswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Area Information Systems and Institute for Enterprise Systems > Working Papers Lehrstuhl für ABWL und Wirtschaftsinformatik (Heinzl) (bis 2011)
Subject: 004 Computer science, internet
Subject headings (SWD): Informationstechnik , Softwareentwicklung , Extreme programming , Agile Softwareentwicklung
Abstract: Today, information technology (IT) has penetrated most domains of business and private life. The knitting of IT-systems and their dependencies are getting more complex every day. For businesses, this development can mean great opportunities. IT has become a main driver for competitive advantage and business success. On the other hand, misled software development (SD) projects can mean an existential threat to the operational and financial situation of a company. The efficient development of effective software is an essential part of optimally facing present and future challenges. Managing SD with traditional methodologies often leads to high planning and management overhead and still, severe schedule deviations and budget overruns cannot be eliminated. The sequential and plan-driven traditional approaches are often not able to support an adequate reaction to either internally or externally caused changes in requirements. Complex and unclear system landscapes with diverse interfaces, ambiguous customer requirements, changing business strategies or fluctuating legal requirements are just a few examples for possible sources of changing system requirements. Today, Extreme Programming (XP) is the most popular agile development methodology supported by the Agile Alliance. Its name was chosen because it claims to bring common sense to an extreme level. It focuses on communication, simplicity, feedback and courage, to improve the speed and quality of SD. Formal processes and documentation are neglected in favor of tacit knowledge to improve flexibility. Close communication between developers and the continuous integration of customer representatives are key components of XP. XP was initially developed for small to medium sized collocated development teams. This paper analyzes to what extent XP can be transferred to larger distributed developing endeavors. The focus is on XP, because it is the methodology with the highest congruence to the original Agile Manifesto. It does not claim to be all new, but to be an aligned composition of well established ideas and practices from other methodologies.
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