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A progression model of software engineering goals, challenges, and practices in start-ups
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Fakulteten för datavetenskaper, Institutionen för programvaruteknik.
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Fakulteten för datavetenskaper, Institutionen för programvaruteknik.
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Fakulteten för datavetenskaper, Institutionen för programvaruteknik.
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Fakulteten för datavetenskaper, Institutionen för programvaruteknik.
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2019 (Engelska)Ingår i: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Context: Software start-ups are emerging as suppliers of innovation and software-intensive products. However, traditional software engineering practices are not evaluated in the context, nor adopted to goals and challenges of start-ups. As a result, there is insufficient support for software engineering in the start-up context. IEEE

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. , 2019.
Nyckelord [en]
Analytical models, Companies, Market opportunities, progression model, Requirements engineering, Software, Software engineering, software engineering practices, software start-up, Computer software, Industry
Nationell ämneskategori
Programvaruteknik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-17706DOI: 10.1109/TSE.2019.2900213Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85061979918OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-17706DiVA, id: diva2:1294418
Tillgänglig från: 2019-03-07 Skapad: 2019-03-07 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-09-26Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Software Engineering in Start-up Companies
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Software Engineering in Start-up Companies
2019 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Start-up companies have emerged as suppliers of innovation and software-intensive products. Small teams, lack of legacy products, experimental nature, and absence of any organizational processes enable start-ups to develop and market new products and services quickly. However, most start-ups fail before delivering any value. Start-up failures can be attributed to market factors, shortcomings in business models, lack of motivation, or self-destruction, among other reasons. However, inadequacies in product engineering precede any market or business-related challenges and could be a significant contributing factor to start-up failures. At the same time, state-of-the-art software engineering (SE) practices are often neglected by start-ups as inadequate. At the beginning of this work, SE in start-ups had attracted very little attention from researchers. Thus, there was no coherent view of SE state-of-practice in start-ups and no starting point for a focused investigation.

 

In this thesis, we explore how start-ups practice SE, what specific SE challenges should be addressed, and what new SE practices are needed to support the engineering of innovative software-intensive products and services.

 

A substantial part of this work is exploratory and aimed to explore SE state-of-practice in start-ups. Our initial findings suggest that start-ups overlook the best SE practices. Teams of a few people working on relatively experimental and straightforward software see no upside of following the best practices. However, late start-ups face substantial challenges as their teams grow, and products become more complex. The key difficulties concern installing adequate SE practices supporting collaboration, coordination of work, and management of accumulated technical debt. To support the evolution of engineering practices in start-ups, we propose the start-up progression model outlining engineering goals, common challenges, and useful practices with regards to the start-up life-cycle phases. Further findings suggest inadequate support for market-driven requirements engineering (MDRE). Specifically, on how to aggregate needs and wishes of a large and loosely defined set of stakeholders who may not be able to articulate their needs and expectations. To address this challenge, we propose a method for the identification and prioritization of data sources and stakeholders in MDRE. Analyzing SE context in start-ups and other organizations developing innovative and market-driven products, we have found many similarities. While start-ups have challenges, they do not appear to be unique. Thus, most start-up challenges can be addressed by transferring the best practices from other engineering contexts.

 

We conclude that there is a little need for start-up specific engineering practices. Best software engineering practices are relevant to address challenges in start-ups. The key engineering challenge in start-ups is the management of the evolution of SE practices to match the growing complexity of the product and the organization. Our work also highlights the need for better MDRE practices to support new market-driven product development in both start-ups and other types of organizations. 

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2019
Serie
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 12
Nyckelord
start-ups, software engineering, practices, models
Nationell ämneskategori
Programvaruteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:bth-18694 (URN)978-91-7295-384-0 (ISBN)
Disputation
2019-12-16, J1516, Campus Grasvik, Karlskrona, 09:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2019-10-21 Skapad: 2019-09-26 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-12-06Bibliografiskt granskad

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