In recent years, iterative and incremental approaches for software development appeared as an alternative to the traditional, waterfall-style development. The reason for this is the large number of software projects in the past that failed to deliver useful products within budget, and struggled with changing requirements and scope creep. Meanwhile it is a common sense understanding that not all projects are predictable from the beginning. Market uncertainty and a fast changing business environment drives changes during the development of a software product. One of the key characteristics of any agile approach is its explicit focus on Business Value. Although any software development method aims at creating a product and thus creating value, in agile software projects the value creation for the clients represents the essence and defines the focus of the process. Thus, the agile development process is a value creation process. The agile methods allow for frequent decisions about the requirements that will be considered for implementation during the short development cycles called iterations. In practice this decision-making is implemented by the process of requirements prioritization and re-prioritization, performed at the beginning of each iteration. This work is dedicated to exploring and understanding the process of value-creation for clients in agile projects, with a particular focus on the requirements prioritization and reprioritization during a project, as an agile-specific value creation practice. We performed a number of research steps to explore some of the current agile practices that seem to contribute to the value creation, and thus to distil knowledge that the agile practitioners apply and that might help to improve the agile practice. Further, we studied in detail the agile prioritization process and identified the criteria, used in the decision-making process, and relations between the project context and the instantiation of the process. In particular, we researched the following topics: • How is business value perceived and measured in agile projects? • What practices contribute to value creation in agile projects in different contexts? • What concepts play a role in making re-prioritization decisions about requirements? These questions represent the focus of our research activities. They lead and framed the formulation of our Research Questions and the research design. The main contribution of our work to the research and practitioners’ communities consists in the rich contextual description of the process of requirements prioritization in agile projects as well as a conceptual model of this process.
|Award date||24 Jan 2014|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Jan 2014|