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  • 1.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Introduction of Agile Practices: Strategies and Impacts2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Software development organizations frequently face changes that require them to be flexible. The principles and practices of Agile software are often associated with improving software organizations’ flexibility. However, introducing Agile practices have its benefits and limitations. To amplify benefits and alleviate challenges, Agile adoption guidelines are being proposed to provide strategies for introducing Agile practices. One instance of such guidelines is known as Agile Maturity Models (AMMs). AMMs typically suggest that Agile practices are introduced in certain orders. However, AMMs provide contradictory strategies. Thus it is not known whether one strategy to introduce Agile practices is better than others.

    Objective: The objective of this thesis is to gather and examine the evidence on the different strategies of introducing Agile practices, particularly on the order of introduction as suggested in the AMMs. The thesis seeks if one order for introducing Agile practices is better than others.

    Method: Combination of empirical studies were used in this thesis. The data collection was done through a survey and semi-structured interviews. This involved analyzing the introduction of Agile practices over time, i.e. the start and/or end of Agile practices. A qualitative method like qualitative coding was used to analyze data obtained from the interviews. Different quantitative methods like inferential statistics and social network analysis were also used. Literature studies were also conducted to provide background and support for the empirical studies.

    Results: The examination of the evidence indicates that there is not one strategy to introduce Agile practices that would yield better results than others. The lack of conclusive evidence could be caused by the lack of consideration on reporting the context of empirical studies, particularly on the baseline situation, i.e. situation prior to Agile introduction. A checklist is proposed to capture a baseline contextual information focusing on internal organizational aspects of a software organization: the constellation of team members’ skills and experience, management principles, existing practices and systems characteristics of the software under development. The checklist was validated  by seven experts in academia. The experts who participated in the validation perceived the checklist to be useful and relevant to research.

    Conclusion:  The studies presented in this thesis can be a useful input for researchers who are conducting an empirical study in Agile software development. The checklist proposed in this thesis could be used to help researchers to improve their research design when evaluating the extent of improvements from introducing Agile practices. If researchers use the checklist, consistency across empirical studies can be improved. Consistency in reporting empirical studies is desired for comparing and aggregating evidence. In turn, this will help practitioners to make a fair assessment whether research results are relevant to their contexts and to what extent the results are helpful for them.

  • 2.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Managing requirements interdependencies in agile software development: A preliminary result2016In: CEUR Workshop Proceedings, ISSN 1613-0073, E-ISSN 1613-0073, Vol. 1564Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Currently managing requirement interdependencies using Agile practices is relatively unexplored. This study explores the state of practice of managing requirements interdependencies in Agile software development through a survey. A total of 52 complete responses were obtained, with 50% of the respondents suggesting that they consider requirements interdependencies. The preliminary result indicates that requirements interdependencies become a greater concern as the project and product complexity increases.

  • 3.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Understanding flexibility of a software organization2015Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Flexibility is an important capability for a software organization. Without flexibility a software organization risks losing its competitive advantage. To build software organization flexibility every constituent of the organization need to be taken into account. Otherwise there are unforeseen trade-offs that could have negative impacts on the rest of the organization. However, currently known flexibility approaches, such as, Agile and Lean methodologies are currently implemented at project level. There is a need for an approach that provides a holistic view to build software organization flexibility.

     

    Objective: The aim of this licentiate thesis to understand challenges that a software organization faces with respect to flexibility and how flexibility is built, and explore the potential of Agile and Lean practices to build software organization flexibility. Particularly in understanding the process of building software organization and the associated trade-offs.

    Method: A grounded theory study and a tertiary study were performed as part of this licentiate thesis. A grounded theory study was conducted to gain a better understanding pertaining to the challenges and processes in building software organization flexibility. The data was collected from an IT Department that provides services to a Fortune 500 financial institution. A tertiary study was performed to identify empirically evaluated Agile and Lean practices and their respective impacts. The findings from the tertiary study were synthesized using qualitative meta-study method.

     

    Results: The findings in this thesis uncovered a number of challenges that a software organization faces with respect to flexibility, they include budget cuts, overhead due to inconsistent development process, and regulatory changes. These challenges then can cause uncertainties that impede the organization’s op-erational efficiency, like delays and inefficient use of resources. To cope with the uncertainty, a software organization would build its flexibility through modi- fications of its organization constituents. Processes and trade-offs associatedi with achieving flexibility were also identified. Furthermore, a consolidated view of the impacts of Agile and Lean practices and their empirical support is also provided.

     

    Conclusion: With the challenges that a software organization face, build- ing software organization flexibility is becoming more prevalent. To improve software organization flexibility different constituents of the organization needs to be considered. Otherwise, the trade-offs associated to achieving flexibility cannot be thoroughly considered. Furthermore, Agile and Lean practices can have positive, negative, or no impacts on quality, budget, schedule, etc. The findings of this thesis can help practitioners identify flexibility needs, as well as improve their awareness of possible negative trade-offs when building software organization flexibility.

     

  • 4.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Fricker, Samuel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Literature Review of Flexibility Attributes: A Flexibility Framework for Software Developing Organization2018In: Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, ISSN 2047-7473, E-ISSN 2047-7481, Vol. 30, no 9, article id e1937Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software developing organizations strive to achieve flexibility to maintain a competitive advantage. There is no common understanding of what characterize flexibility for a software organization beyond the scope of the software product. Without a common understanding, it is difficult to evaluate the degrees of flexibility of software development approaches. The aim of this literature review is to collect attributes that characterize flexibility. The collected attributes are consolidated into a flexibility framework with 3 main attributes: properties of change, flexibility perspectives, and flexibility enablers. The resulting flexibility framework is then used to evaluate Agile and Lean practices. The evaluation shows that Agile and Lean practices address many flexibility attributes. However, some attributes are not addressed, such as infrastructure flexibility and strategic flexibility. On the basis of our evaluation, the classifications of flexibility attributes that we present in this paper could be used to aid software organization flexibility evaluation.

  • 5.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Fricker, Samuel A.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    The impacts of agile and lean practices on project constraints: A tertiary study2016In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 119, p. 162-183Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The growing interest in Agile and Lean software development is reflected in the increasing number of secondary studies on the benefits and limitations of Agile and Lean processes and practices. The aim of this tertiary study is to consolidate empirical evidence regarding Agile and Lean practices and their respective impacts on project constraints as defined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK): scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, communication, and risk. In this tertiary study, 13 secondary studies were included for detailed analysis. Given the heterogeneity of the data, we were unable to perform a rigorous synthesis. Instead, we mapped the identified Agile and Lean practices, and their impacts on the project constraints described in PMBOK. From 13 secondary studies, we identified 13 Agile and Lean practices. Test-Driven Development (TDD) is studied in ten secondary studies, meanwhile other practices are studied in only one or two secondary studies. This tertiary study provides a consolidated view of the impacts of Agile and Lean practices. The result of this tertiary study indicates that TDD has a positive impact on external quality. However, due to insufficient data or contradictory results, we were unable to make inferences on other Agile and Lean practices. Implications for research and practice are further discussed in the paper. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  • 6.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Fricker, Samuel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Strategies to Introduce Agile Practices: Comparing Agile Maturity Models with Practitioners’ExperienceIn: Journal of Empirical Software Engineering, ISSN 1382-3256, E-ISSN 1573-7616Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Agile maturity models (AMMs) have been proposed to provide guidance for adopting Agile practices. Evaluations of AMMs indicatethat they might not be suitable for industry use. One issue is that AMMs have mainly been evaluated against pre-defined sets of criteria, instead of industry practice. Objectives: The objectives of this study are to: (1) compare current AMMs regarding their guidance for Agile adoption, (2) investigate the strategies for Agile adoption used by practitioners, and (3) investigate similarities and differences between (1) and (2). Methods: We conducted a literature survey that included grey literature to identify strategies proposed by the AMMs. We also conducted a survey and 11 interviews to identify the strategies used by practitioners to introduce Agile practices. This study combines quantitative and qualitative analysis. Results: From the literature survey we found 26 AMMs, whereof 12 provide explicit mappings of Agile practices to maturity levels. These mappings showed little agreement in when practices should be introduced. Based on 40 survey responses we identified three high-level strategies for introducing Agile practices: big-bang, incremental, and complex strategies. The survey andinterviews revealed that the guidance suggested by AMMs are not aligned well with industry practice and that Agile practices might already be in place before an organization starts a transition to Agile. Conclusion: In their current form, AMMs do not provide sufficient information to guide Agile adoption in industry. Our results suggest that there might be no universal strategy for Agile adoption that works better than others.

  • 7.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Fricker, Samuel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    A Preliminary Checklist for Capturing Baseline Situations in Studying the Impacts of Agile Practices Introduction2018In: IEEE-ACM International Workshop on Conducting Empirical Studies in Industry CESI, IEEE Computer Society, 2018, p. 25-28Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To assess the benefits of introducing Agile practices, it is important to get a clear understanding of the baseline situation, i.e. the situation before their introduction. Without a clear baseline, we cannot properly assess the extent of impacts, both positive and negative, of introducing Agile practices. This paper provides a preliminary guideline to help researchers in capturing and reporting baseline situations. The guideline has been developed through the study of literature and interviews with industry practitioners, and validated by experts in academia.

  • 8.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Fricker, Samuel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Usage, Retention, and Abandonment of Agile Practices2019In: e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, ISSN 1897-7979, E-ISSN 2084-4840, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 7-35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: A number of Agile maturity models (AMMs) have been proposed to guide software organizations in their adoption of Agile practices. Typically the AMMs suggest that higher maturity levels are reached by gradually adding more practices. However, recent research indicates that certain Agile practices, like test-driven development and continuous integration are being abandoned. Little is known on the rationales for abandoning Agile practices. Aim: We aim to identify which Agile practices are abandoned in industry, as well as the reasons for abandoning them. Method: We conducted a web survey with 51 respondents and interviews with 11 industry practitioners with experience in Agile adoption to investigate why Agile practices are abandoned. Results: Of the 17 Agile practices that were included in the survey, all have been abandoned at some point. Nevertheless, respondents who retained all practices as well as those who abandoned one or more practices, perceived their overall adoption of Agile practices as successful. Conclusion: Going against the suggestions of the AMMs, i.e. abandoning Agile one or more practices, could still lead to successful outcomes. This indicates that introducing Agile practices gradually in a certain sequence, as the AMMs suggest, may not always be suitable in different contexts.

  • 9.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Fricker, Samuel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Understanding the order of agile practice introduction: Comparing agile maturity models and practitioners’ experience2019In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 156, p. 1-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Agile maturity models (AMMs) suggest that agile practices are introduced in a certain order. However, whether the order of agile practice introduction as suggested in the AMMs is relevant in industry has not been evaluated in an empirical study. Objectives: In this study, we want to investigate: (1) order of agile practice introduction mentioned in AMMs, (2) order of introducing agile practices in industry, and (3) similarities and differences between (1) and (2). Methods: We conducted a literature survey to identify strategies proposed by the AMMs. We then compared the AMMs’ suggestions to the strategies used by practitioners, which we elicited from a survey and a series of interviews from an earlier study. Results: The literature survey revealed 12 AMMs which provide explicit mappings of agile practices to maturity levels. These mappings showed little agreement on when practices should be introduced. Comparison of the AMMs’ suggestions and the empirical study revealed that the guidance suggested by AMMs are not aligned with industry practice. Conclusion: Currently, AMMs do not provide sufficient information to guide agile adoption in industry. Our results suggest that there might be no universal strategy for agile adoption that works better than others. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.

  • 10.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Fricker, Samuel A.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    An Analysis of Change Scenarios of an IT Organization for Flexibility Building2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Flexibility is important for software organizations to cope with changes demanded in the business environment. So far, flexibility has been extensively studied from a software product and software development process point of view. However, there is little work on how to build flexibility at the level of the whole software organization. Thus, there is no clear understanding of how to effectively improve the ability of an organization to respond to changes in a timely fashion and with little effort. This paper presents the results of a grounded theory study on how flexibility is built and improved in an IT organization and provides a holistic and explanatory view of how this is achieved. Implications for research and practices are also provided.

  • 11.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Fricker, Samuel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Towards Understanding How To Build Strategic Flexibility Of An IT Organization2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    IT organizations need to react to changes in the business, the domain (e.g., regulatory issues), and the technological development. While some of these changes can be handled by adopting agile practices, others might have large, irreversible effects on the organization as a whole. While flexibility and agility have found their way into software project methodologies, IT organizations struggle with their adaptation at organizational level. This paper presents preliminary results of a grounded-theory study aimed at understanding how experienced managers handle flexibility. The results are a rich empirical source for improving flexibility of an IT organization at the strategic level and also a good starting point for further research towards generalizing agile ideas beyond software projects.

  • 12.
    Nurdiani, Indira
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Fricker, Samuel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Tracing Requirements interdependencies in Agile Teams2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The pressure of delivering a software product in timely manner and rapid requirement changes have driven many software organizations to adopt a solution that allows them to be more flexible in adapting to changes. Agile Methodology (AM) is a software development approach that tries to address the rigidity of traditional plan-driven methods. AM focuses on delivering working software on time through short and iterative development cycles. Changes to requirements are also accepted even at later stages of the development. In AM, requirements are implemented in releases based on prioritization of financial value, cost, uncertainty, and risks. However, practitioners find results from prioritization to be untrustworthy. Requirements prioritization is further challenged by interdependencies between requirements. Managing requirements interdependencies, which is an important aspect in incremental development, is a missing piece in AM. The aim of this study is to explore the perception from agile teams regarding requirements interdependencies and uncover in-situ practices for handling those interdependencies. We want to study the practices that are in place from the development team point of view with ethnomethodological approaches, utilizing observations and interviews as data collection methods. Through ethnomethodology we can uncover social and other aspects that can provide insights toward focused development effort improvement, as demonstrated in.

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