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The situational factors that affect the software development process: Towards a comprehensive reference framework

Clarke, Paul and O'Connor, Rory (2012) The situational factors that affect the software development process: Towards a comprehensive reference framework. Information and Software Technology, 54 (5). pp. 433-447. ISSN 0950-5849

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Abstract

Context An optimal software development process is regarded as being dependent on the situational characteristics of individual software development settings. Such characteristics include the nature of the application(s) under development, team size, requirements volatility and personnel experience. However, no comprehensive reference framework of the situational factors affecting the software development process is presently available. Objective The absence of such a comprehensive reference framework of the situational factors affecting the software development process is problematic not just because it inhibits our ability to optimise the software development process, but perhaps more importantly, because it potentially undermines our capacity to ascertain the key constraints and characteristics of a software development setting. Method To address this deficiency, we have consolidated a substantial body of related research into an initial reference framework of the situational factors affecting the software development process. To support the data consolidation, we have applied rigorous data coding techniques from Grounded Theory and we believe that the resulting framework represents an important contribution to the software engineering field of knowledge. Results The resulting reference framework of situational factors consists of 8 classifications and 44 factors that inform the software process. We believe that the situational factor reference framework presented herein represents a sound initial reference framework for the key situational elements affecting the software process definition. Conclusion In addition to providing a useful reference listing for the research community and for committees engaged in the development of standards, the reference framework also provides support for practitioners who are challenged with defining and maintaining software development processes. Furthermore, this framework can be used to develop a profile of the situational characteristics of a software development setting, which in turn provides a sound foundation for software development process definition and optimisation.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Software engineering process; process definition; process implementation & change
Subjects:Computer Science > Software engineering
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Initiatives and Centres > Lero: The Irish Software Engineering Research Centre
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Engineering and Computing > School of Computing
Publisher:Elsevier
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infsof.2011.12.003
Copyright Information:© 2012 Elsevier BV
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:16823
Deposited On:16 May 2012 15:57 by Rory O'Connor. Last Modified 16 May 2012 15:57

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