Project

HELENA SURVEY - Hybrid dEveLopmENt Approaches in software systems development

Goal: The HELENA survey aims to investigate the use of hybrid development approaches in software systems development - from emerging and innovative sectors to regulated domains.

The overall goal of this survey is to investigate, what the current state of the practice in software and systems development is. In particular, we aim to study, which development approaches (traditional, agile, main-stream, or home-grown) are used in practice and how they are combined, how such combinations were developed over time, and if and how standards (e.g., safety standards) affect the development process as such and the methods applied. With this information, we aim to push forward systematic process design and improvement activities to allow for more efficient and less-overhead development approaches.

HELENA is planed as a 3-staged international research endeavor. The first stage aims to initiate data collection and to test the survey instrument. The second stage aims a "mass data" collection using a revised survey instrument. The second stage is conducted in a large international consortium that comprises more than 60 partners from more than 20 countries. More details on the second stage can be found here: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com. Finally, the third stage will emphasize focus research based on the outcomes of the second stage.

Methods: Survey Research

Date: 15 May 2016

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Project log

Marco Kuhrmann
added a research item
Together with many success stories, promises such as the increase in production speed and the improvement in stakeholders' collaboration have contributed to making agile a transformation in the software industry in which many companies want to take part. However, driven either by a natural and expected evolution or by contextual factors that challenge the adoption of agile methods as prescribed by their creator(s), software processes in practice mutate into hybrids over time. Are these still agile? In this article, we investigate the question: what makes a software development method agile? We present an empirical study grounded in a large-scale international survey that aims to identify software development methods and practices that improve or tame agility. Based on 556 data points, we analyze the perceived degree of agility in the implementation of standard project disciplines and its relation to used development methods and practices. Our findings suggest that only a small number of participants operate their projects in a purely traditional or agile manner (under 15%). That said, most project disciplines and most practices show a clear trend towards increasing degrees of agility. Compared to the methods used to develop software, the selection of practices has a stronger effect on the degree of agility of a given discipline. Finally, there are no methods or practices that explicitly guarantee or prevent agility. We conclude that agility cannot be defined solely at the process level. Additional factors need to be taken into account when trying to implement or improve agility in a software company. Finally, we discuss the field of software process-related research in the light of our findings and present a roadmap for future research.
Ozden Ozcan Top
added a research item
Together with many success stories, promises such as the increase in production speed and the improvement in stakeholders' collaboration have contributed to making agile a transformation in the software industry in which many companies want to take part. However, driven either by a natural and expected evolution or by contextual factors that challenge the adoption of agile methods as prescribed by their creator(s), software processes in practice mutate into hybrids over time. Are these still agile In this article, we investigate the question: what makes a software development method agile We present an empirical study grounded in a large-scale international survey that aims to identify software development methods and practices that improve or tame agility. Based on 556 data points, we analyze the perceived degree of agility in the implementation of standard project disciplines and its relation to used development methods and practices. Our findings suggest that only a small number of participants operate their projects in a purely traditional or agile manner (under 15%). That said, most project disciplines and most practices show a clear trend towards increasing degrees of agility. Compared to the methods used to develop software, the selection of practices has a stronger effect on the degree of agility of a given discipline. Finally, there are no methods or practices that explicitly guarantee or prevent agility. We conclude that agility cannot be defined solely at the process level. Additional factors need to be taken into account when trying to implement or improve agility in a software company. Finally, we discuss the field of software process-related research in the light of our findings and present a roadmap for future research.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
I'm very happy to finally announce that our joint paper "What Makes Agile Software Development Agile?" (see: ) was accepted for publication. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering published an Early View version of the paper and we're now awaiting copy editing and the issue assignment.
Thanks to all the contributors - this is a great team achievement!
 
Dietmar Pfahl
added a research item
Hardly any software development process is used as prescribed by authors or standards. Regardless of company size or industry sector, a majority of project teams and companies use hybrid development methods (short: hybrid methods) that combine different development methods and practices. Even though such hybrid methods are highly individualized, a common understanding of how to systematically construct synergetic practices is missing. In this article, we make a first step towards a statistical construction procedure for hybrid methods. Grounded in 1467 data points from a large‐scale practitioner survey, we study the question: What are hybrid methods made of and how can they be systematically constructed? Our findings show that only eight methods and few practices build the core of modern software development. Using an 85% agreement level in the participants' selections, we provide examples illustrating how hybrid methods can be characterized by the practices they are made of. Furthermore, using this characterization, we develop an initial construction procedure, which allows for defining a method frame and enriching it incrementally to devise a hybrid method using ranked sets of practice.
Paolo Tell
added a research item
Hardly any software development process is used as prescribed by authors or standards. Regardless of company size or industry sector, a majority of project teams and companies use hybrid development methods (short: hybrid methods) that combine different development methods and practices. Even though such hybrid methods are highly individualized, a common understanding of how to systematically construct synergetic practices is missing. In this article, we make a first step towards a statistical construction procedure for hybrid methods. Grounded in 1,467 data points from a large-scale practitioner survey, we study the question: What are hybrid methods made of and how can they be systematically constructed? Our findings show that only eight methods and few practices build the core of modern software development. Using an 85% agreement level in the participants' selections, we provide examples illustrating how hybrid methods can be characterized by the practices they are made of. Furthermore, using this characterization, we develop an initial construction procedure, which allows for defining a method frame and enriching it incrementally to devise a hybrid method using ranked sets of practice.
Jil Klünder
added a research item
Selecting a suitable development method for a specific project context is one of the most challenging activities in process design. Every project is unique and, thus, many context factors have to be considered. Recent research took some initial steps towards statistically constructing hybrid development methods, yet, paid little attention to the peculiarities of context factors influencing method and practice selection. In this paper, we utilize exploratory factor analysis and logistic regression analysis to learn such context factors and to identify methods that are correlated with these factors. Our analysis is based on 829 data points from the HELENA dataset. We provide five base clusters of methods consisting of up to 10 methods that lay the foundation for devising hybrid development methods. The analysis of the five clusters using trained models reveals only a few context factors, e.g., project/product size and target application domain, that seem to significantly influence the selection of methods. An extended descriptive analysis of these practices in the context of the identified method clusters also suggests a consolidation of the relevant practice sets used in specific project contexts.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Just finished the first draft of the updated talk on our ICSSP 2019 paper. It will be presented tomorrow to the German Software Engineering community :) You can find the paper preprint here:
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
A great achievement! Sarah Beecham and John Noll won the Best Short Paper Award at PROFES 2019 (https://twitter.com/sarah_beecham/status/1200350339934949376) for their paper: How Agile is Hybrid Agile? Congratulations!
The paper can be found here:
 
Sarah Beecham
added a research item
Background: Agile methods are no longer restricted to small projects and co-located teams. The last decade has seen the spread of agile into large scale, distributed and regulated domains. Many case studies show successful agile adoption in GSD, however, taken as a whole, it remains unclear how widespread this trend is, and what form the agile adoption takes in a global software development (GSD) setting. Aims: Our objective is to gain a deeper understanding of how organisations adopt agile development methods in distributed settings. Specifically we aim to plot the current development process landscape in GSD. Method: We analyse industrial survey data from 33 different countries collected as part of the project that explored the wider use of hybrid development approaches in software development. We extract and analyse the results of 263 surveys completed by participants involved in globally distributed projects. Results: In our sample, 72 of globally distributed projects implement a mix of both agile and traditional approaches (termed `hybrid'). 25 of GSD organisations are predominantly agile, with only very few (5) opting for traditional approaches. GSD projects that used only agile methods tended to be very large. Conclusions: Globally Distributed Software Development (and project size) is not a barrier to adopting agile practices. Yet, to facilitate project coordination and general project management, many adopt traditional approaches, resulting in a hybrid approach that follows defined rules.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
A great achievement for the whole HELENA team. The paper has been awarded the ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at ICSSP 2019. That's cool and a big thanks to all authors of that paper!
That's also a very good motivation to continue our research - looking forward to many more cool papers!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
It's only one more week until ICSSP and ICSE (Montreal, Canada). We've had quite a run :) At ICSSP, I'll present our paper .
At ICSE (SEIP-Track), Jil Klünder will present our paper and, finally, Regina Hebig will present our paper at ICSE's SEET-Track.
Are you interested in our research and like to talk to use, just join our talks and approach us. Several HELENA team members will be around. We're looking forward to exciting events and a lot of conversation.
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added a research item
Among the multitude of software development processes available, hardly any is used by the book. Regardless of company size or industry sector, a majority of project teams and companies use customized processes that combine different development methods - so-called hybrid development methods. Even though such hybrid development methods are highly individualized, a common understanding of how to systematically construct synergetic practices is missing. In this paper, we make a first step towards devising such guidelines. Grounded in 1,467 data points from a large-scale online survey among practitioners, we study the current state of practice in process use to answer the question: What are hybrid development methods made of? Our findings reveal that only eight methods and few practices build the core of modern software development. This small set allows for statistically constructing hybrid development methods. Using an 85% agreement level in the participants' selections, we provide two examples illustrating how hybrid development methods are characterized by the practices they are made of. Our evidence-based analysis approach lays the foundation for devising hybrid development methods.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
In a previous post, we announced that we've got a conditional accept for our ICSE-SEET submission. Meanwhile, the paper was finally accepted. Thanks to Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende and Helge Pfeiffer for their final review/feedback.
Also, thanks to the whole author team - that was a good job!
Find the pre-print version of the paper here:
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added 2 research items
This file contains the basic research and questionnaire designs and research (raw) data for the second stage of the HELENA-Edu study.
Software engineering educators are continually challenged by rapidly evolving concepts, technologies, and industry demands. Due to the omnipresence of software in a digitalized society, higher education institutions (HEIs) have to educate the students such that they learn how to learn, and that they are equipped with a profound basic knowledge and with latest knowledge about modern software and system development. Since industry demands change constantly, HEIs are challenged in meeting such current and future demands in a timely manner. This paper analyzes the current state of practice in software engineering education. Specifically, we want to compare con- temporary education with industrial practice to understand if frameworks, methods and practices for software and system development taught at HEIs reflect industrial practice. For this, we conducted an online survey and collected information about 67 software engineering courses. Our findings show that development approaches taught at HEIs quite closely reflect industrial practice. We also found that the choice of what process to teach is sometimes driven by the wish to make a course successful. Especially when this happens for project courses, it could be beneficial to put more emphasis on building learning sequences with other courses.
Marco Kuhrmann
added a research item
HELENA-Edu is a international survey that aims at collecting data regarding the general use of software and system development approaches in teaching. The overall goal is to study if the frameworks, methods and practices thaught at institutions of higher education reflect industrial practice. This report presents selected key findings of the HELENA-Edu data in a short communication. Everybody who is interested into details is invited to access the whole HELENA-Edu dataset and to analyze it.
Jil Klünder
added a research item
Software development methods are usually not applied by the book. Companies are under pressure to continuously deploy software products that meet market needs and stakeholders’ requests. To implement efficient and effective development processes, companies utilize multiple frameworks, methods and practices, and combine these into hybrid methods. A common combination contains a rich management framework to organize and steer projects complemented with a number of smaller practices providing the development teams with tools to complete their tasks. In this paper, based on 732 data points collected through an international survey, we study the software development process use in practice. Our results show that 76.8% of the companies implement hybrid methods. Company size as well as the strategy in devising and evolving hybrid methods affect the suitability of the chosen process to reach company or project goals. Our findings show that companies that combine planned improvement programs with process evolution can increase their process’ suitability by up to 5%.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Dear team members and followers,
We look back to a tough, yet very productive HELENA year. We finished the data collection in 2017 and spent much effort on working with the data. 1,467 data points is a great deal! That's our achievement as a team - Thanks to all of you.
Besides the data analysis, we also had our 3rd workshop, co-located with PROFES 2018. Thanks to Paolo Tell , Sherlock A. Licorish and Stephen G. MacDonell for organizing this workshop.
Also, we managed to get a joint paper accepted at the SEIP Track of ICSE 2019, which was driven by Jil Klünder , Regina Hebig and Paolo Tell - that's a great achievement! Additionally, over the summer, we conducted a complementing study in which we asked the educators if they teach the methods favored by industry. This paper was submitted to the SEET Track of ICSE 2019 and got a conditional accept (we currently work on the revision). Preprints of both papers will be available soon.
So, 2018 was very productive and we already made the first steps into 2019. Our joint team paper is next on the list...
Long story short: Thanks to the team for all the work and congrats to the team for the great achievements! We are looking forward to another productive year 2019. Meanwhile, all my best wishes for the Christmas break and a good start into 2019!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Thanks to Jil Klünder and the other almost 20 authors from the HELENA team for the huge effort! The paper "Catching up with Method and Process Practice: An Industry-Informed Baseline for Researchers" was accepted at the SEIP track of ICSE 2019 (https://2019.icse-conferences.org/track/icse-2019-Software-Engineering-in-Practice#event-overview). Stay tuned for the preprint.
Great Work! Thanks!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Yesterday, during the 3rd HELENA workshop, we released the stage 2 raw data and complementing material, e.g. questionnaire designs. We also prepared a small report that provides a good overview of the HELENA data.
Thanks to the whole HELENA team that made this research possible!
You can find the material here:
Technical Report HELENA Stage 2 Results
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added 2 research items
HELENA is a large-scale international survey that aims at collecting data regarding the general use of software and system development approaches in practice. In a 2-year endeavor, a team of up to 75 researchers developed the HELENA instrument and collected data from almost 1,500 project/product teams worldwide. This report presents selected key findings of the HELENA data in a short communication. Everybody who is interested into details is invited to access the whole HELENA-2 dataset and to analyze it.
Paolo Tell
added a research item
Evidence shows that software development methods, frameworks, and even practices are seldom applied in companies by following the book. Combinations of different methodologies into home-grown processes are being constantly uncovered. Nonetheless, an academic understanding and investigation of this phenomenon is very limited. In 2016, the HELENA initiative was launched to research hybrid development approaches in software system development. This paper introduces the 3rd HELENA workshop and provides a detailed description of the instrument used and the available data sets.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
The HELENA team meet,s again in Wolfsburg. The 3rd HELENA Workshop will be held colocated with PROFES 2018 (https://profes2018.wordpress.com/). Big thanks to Stephen G. MacDonell
Sherlock A. Licorish and Paolo Tell for organizing the event! Find further information about the 3rd HELENA workshop here: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/3rd-helena-workshop-november-28-2018/
You want to join and meet the team? You can still register for the PROFES conference. Early-bird is still open.
 
Oliver Linssen
added a research item
Software ist in nahezu allen Industriesektoren zu einem Treiber für Innovation geworden. Deshalb benötigen Unternehmen Methodenkompetenz zur Softwareentwicklung. Hier werden eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Prozesse, Methoden und Praktiken verwendet. Die HELENA-Studie untersucht empirisch die in der Praxis eingesetzten Softwareentwicklungsansätze. Es konnte gezeigt werden, dass sogenannte "hybride" Entwicklungsansätze die Norm für die Software- und Systementwicklung werden. Dies sind Kombinationen von agilen und traditionellen (plangetriebenen) Ansätzen, die eine Entwicklungsorganisation nach eigenen Bedürfnissen anpasst.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
We are happy to announce two new research items from the HELENA team.
The team Costa Rica just published the paper:
From teams Germany and Austria, Oliver Linssen, Jil Klünder, Michael Felderer, Eckhart Hanser, Masud Fazal-Baqaie and myself just did the final step to publish a small HELENA stage 1 summary in the PM-Aktuell, the magazine of the German Project Management Society.
Great work so far - more is about to come!
 
Gustavo López
added a research item
In recent years, many studies have focused on software development practices around the world. The HELENA study is an international effort to gather quantitative data on software development practices and frameworks. In this paper, we present the Costa Rican results of the HELENA survey. We provide evidence of the practices and frameworks used in 51 different projects in Costa Rica. Participants in this survey represent companies ranging from 50 or fewer employees to companies with more than 2500 employees. Furthermore, the industries represented in the survey include software development, system development, IT consulting, research and development of IT services and software development for financial institutions. Results show that Scrum, Iterative Development, Kanban and Waterfall are the most used software development frameworks in Costa Rica. However, Scrum doubles the use of Waterfall and other methods.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
The 3rd HELENA workshop is now publicly annouced: https://profes2018.wordpress.com/program/workshops/
The workshop will be held co-located with PROFES 2018, Wolfsburg, Germany. The 3rd workshop is organized by Paolo Tell, Stephen G. MacDonell and Sherlock A. Licorish. Thanks for the effort and the work you (will ;) do for the community.
Find the latest information about the 3rd workshop here: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/3rd-helena-workshop-november-28-2018/
 
Steffen Küpper
added a research item
Hybrid approaches for software and system development have become reality. Recent research shows the use of hybrid development approaches mainly grounded in experience and driven by pragmatism. At the same time, a vast number of success factors is known that influences process development and process use alike. However, even though industrial practice shows a need for hybrid development approaches and knowledge regarding the success factors is in place, a systematic approach to develop, deploy and tailor hybrid development approaches is missing. This paper reports on ongoing research that aims at developing a method to support the evidence-driven construction of hybrid development approaches. We provide an overview of the required method components and outline how hybrid development approaches can be deployed at the organizational level and tailored at the project level. We further give an overview of ongoing and completed studies supporting the method's construction and evaluation. CCS CONCEPTS • Software and its engineering → Software development process management; Software development methods; Agile software development;
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
The analysis of the second HELENA stage is gaining speed. Some activities have been started - more are expected. To make work a bit more efficient, Regina Hebig will coordinate the paper projects and Paolo Tell takes over responsibility for the data management.
Also: some smaller events are upcoming and we just started to organize the 3rd HELENA workshop. Keep following us to get all updates just in time...
Marco
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Tomorrow, Thursday, March 8, 2018, we present the outcomes of the 1st HELENA stage published at ICSSP 2017: at the German Software Engineering Conference (Ulm, Germany).
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Our Article , which reports results from HELENA's stage 1 and that was accepted at IEEE Software is now officially available as IEEE Pre-Print.
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added a research item
The first international HELENA workshop was held co-located with the 2017 International Conference on Software and Systems Process (ICSSP). The goals of this workshop were to bring the HELENA team together, foster general networking, discuss the current state of the project, and develop a roadmap towards future activities. From the 84 researchers and practitioners from 25 active countries, 25 participated in this workshop. The overall status report shows that the HELENA survey is increasingly gaining attention, and more then 300 data points have been collected so far. The team agreed on a number of topics for future activities, e.g., organizational transformation, adaptation and evolution, and development approaches for safety-critical systems.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Dear Collaborators and Followers,
We are happy to share the "official" summary of the 1st HELENA workshop, which has been published in the ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes:
We look forward to many more workshop reports and summaries from this community :)
Best, marco
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Dear HELENA contributors and followers,
We look back to an exciting year 2017. We, as a team, could make a number of great achievements:
Completion of stage 1: We completed the 1st stage of our study and could implement, test and improve the survey instrument. In the first stage, we could publish a great paper at ICSSP 2017 in Paris:
Furthermore, we got an article in IEEE Software accepted and now await its publication (hopefully early in 2018):
Completion of stage 2 data collection: In 2017, we also completed the data collection for HELENA's 2nd stage. In total, we collected about 1,450 data points, and 691 of these are completed questionnaires. All contributors got access to the data and we hope that you start your analyses soon, such that we can publish our results quickly.
HELENA workshops: In 2017, we held 2 workshops. The 1st workshop (about 20-25 participants, co-located with ICSSP 2017, Paris), we did some very good work and put effort on defining topics of interest and developing an agenda. We still wait for the workshop report to be published in the ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes.
In the second workshop (again about 20 participants, co-located with Profes 2017, Innsbruck), we presented preliminary results from the 2nd stage:
All preprints of the 2nd HELENA workshop papers are available here:
So, a lot of work done. Yet, still more work ahead. Thanks to all contributors for the great collaboration. We look forward to continue this fruitful collaboration. Enjoy your Christmas vacation - see you again next year :)
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Dear HELENA Team Members,
Paolo Tell, Steffen Küpper and myself presented early views on the data and reported on the data cleaning etc. during the 2nd workshop. It's done! Please check your inboxes for further information and instructions.
HELENA Data Analysis starts!
 
Steffen Küpper
added a research item
The poster for the German team of the HELENA community. Presented at the 2nd HELNA Workshop at PROFES 2018 in Innsbruck
Steffen Küpper
added an update
Here is the poster for Germany, presented on the 2nd HELENA Workshop at Profes 2018 in Innsbruck!
Thanks to the PROFES Organization and all HELENA Workshop participants.
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
On November 29, 2017, we have the 2nd HELENA workshop in Innsbruck (as part of the PROFES 2017 conference). You can find the preliminary workshop program here: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/2nd-helena-workshop-november-29-2017/
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Almost 2 years ago, all started at Profes 2015 (Bolzano) with our joint paper on the Water-Scrum-Fall:
Meanwhile, we formed a large team, almost 80 active researchers from 20+ countries. We published first results of HELENA's stage 1 at ICSSP 2017: and in IEEE Software:
And now: the data collection for HELENA's stage 2 is over. We'd like to thank all actively contributing team members, and we also owe thanks to the almost 1,500 participants that provided almost 700 fully completed questionnaires. Many, many Thanks!
We now go back into our caves and start analyzing the data. So, stay tuned for updates and news. Next opportunity to meet us in person is the 2nd HELENA workshop at Profes 2017 (Innsbruck): https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/2nd-helena-workshop-november-29-2017/. See you there :)
 
Steffen Küpper
added a research item
Many software development teams face the problem of selecting a suitable development approach fitting to their specific context. According to them, the combination of agile and traditional approaches seems to be the solution to handle this problem. However, the current state of practice with respect to hybrid approaches is not suciently examined. Most studies focus either on traditional or on agile methods, but the combination of both is not well investigated yet. The " Hybrid dEveLopmENt Approaches in software systems development " (HELENA) study performs a large-scale international survey in order to gain insights into the distribution of hybrid approaches. So far, the study indicates several reasons why companies combine agile and traditional approaches. The hybrid approaches aim at improving the frequency of delivery to customers, the adaptability and the flexibility of the process to react to change. Furthermore, it is the aim to increase the productivity. In this publication, we present the current state of the German results and outline the next steps.
Nicolás Paez
added a research item
HELENA Survey is a worldwide initiative that aims to investigate the use of hybrid software development approaches ranging from agile to traditional and how they combine. This article presents the initial results and observations on software development practice in Argentina, and briefly discusses two patterns of interest related to software development practice usage.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Yesterday, September 30, 2017, we officially closed HELENA's 2nd stage. So far, we collection more that 600 data points. A great achievement of the whole team. So: Thanks to all contributors and also thanks to all participants!
For the rest of October, we have the stage-2 phase-out. That is, the online questionnaire remains open for a couple of days. If you still want to participate, hurry up! You can participate using the link on the top of our project website: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/
Again, thanks to all and stay tuned for updates!
PS: Don't forget our 2nd HELENA workshop co-located with Profes'2017. The preliminary program is available here: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/2nd-helena-workshop-november-29-2017/ and a workshop summary can be found here on ResearchGate:
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
All preprints of the 2nd HELENA workshop papers are now available here on ReseachGate. You can find them below in the project updates, or just follow the direct links beneath:
  1. Estonia, Sweden:
  2. Sweden, Uganda:
  3. Denmark:
  4. Germany:
  5. Austria:
  6. Argentina:
We're looking forward to an exciting workshop. Further details about the workshop can be found here: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/2nd-helena-workshop-november-29-2017/
An overall perspective on HELENA's progress can be taken from the 2nd workshop's summary:
Thanks to all the contributors and author teams!
 
Nicolás Paez
added a research item
HELENA Survey is a worldwide initiative that aims to investigate the use of hybrid software development approaches ranging from agile to traditional and how they combine. This article presents the initial results and observations on software development practice in Argentina, and briefly discusses two patterns of interest related to software development practice usage.
Dietmar Pfahl
added a research item
The way how software is developed in industry has considerably changed with the advent of the agile development paradigm about 20 years ago. The HELENA initiative tries to investigate the current state of practice in software and system development. This paper reports about initial results of an online survey that was conducted in 26 countries simultaneously, focusing on results from Estonia and comparing these results with results from Sweden as well as with the joint results from all participating countries worldwide.
Michael Felderer
added a research item
The application of software process models in industry includes traditional processes, agile processes, and process variants that aim at balancing traditional and agile with focus on specific industry needs. To investigate the characteristics of such hybrid software and system development approaches that combine agile and traditional approaches the HELENA project was initiated. HELENA is based on a large international survey. Based on the first HELENA survey, conducted in 2016, in 2017 a second round of surveys has been launched. This paper focuses on initial results and discussions of the data from Austria where 22 persons participated. Results showed a good balance of small and medium enterprises and large organizations. Iterative development processes and Scrum are widely spread in these organizations where traditional approaches are often combined with some agile practices.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
3 out of 6 papers accepted for the second HELENA workshop are now available. To get more information about the workshop, check out our project website: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/2nd-helena-workshop-november-29-2017/
Note: We publish all material on this page, i.e., you'll find all papers and complementing material here. So, interested into hybrid software and system development, follow this project :)
 
Paolo Tell
added a research item
Since the early days of software engineering, a number of methods, processes, and practices to design and develop software systems have been proposed and applied in industry, e.g., the Rational Unified Process, Agile Software Development, etc. However, since no silver bullet exists, organizations use rich combinations of agile and/or traditional methods and practices, rather than following a single process by the book. To investigate this reality, an international exploratory multistage research project named HELENA (Hybrid DEveLopmENt Approaches in software systems development) was initiated. Currently, the HELENA survey is conducted globally (second stage of HELENA project). This short paper presents and discusses the results of the survey in Danmark compared to the global results based on the data from August 15, 2017.
Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende
added a research item
Many organizations are adapting the use of hybrid software development approaches by combining traditional methods with flexible agile practices. This paper presents the initial results from the survey on the use of hybrid software and systems approaches. The results are from twenty one respondents from Sweden and Uganda. Our results show that the iterative model is the most widely used process model in both Sweden and Uganda. However, the traditional process models are also used in combination with the more agile models like Scrum. From the results, we also show that the large sized companies face the biggest problems during implementation of agility since they have to adhere to standards and control measures.
Jil Klünder
added a research item
Many software development teams face the problem of selecting a suitable development approach fitting to their specific context. According to them, the combination of agile and traditional approaches seems to be the solution to handle this problem. However, the current state of practice with respect to hybrid approaches is not suciently examined. Most studies focus either on traditional or on agile methods, but the combination of both is not well investigated yet. The " Hybrid dEveLopmENt Approaches in software systems development " (HELENA) study performs a large-scale international survey in order to gain insights into the distribution of hybrid approaches. So far, the study indicates several reasons why companies combine agile and traditional approaches. The hybrid approaches aim at improving the frequency of delivery to customers, the adaptability and the flexibility of the process to react to change. Furthermore, it is the aim to increase the productivity. In this publication, we present the current state of the German results and outline the next steps.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
We will have a number of exciting talks and (hopefully again) a lot of fruitful discussion and collaboration. Six position papers and status reports will be presented, we also have some announcements for posters and lightning talks. This will become a great event!
Thanks to Paolo Tell, Stephen G. MacDonell, Jürgen Münch, Philipp Diebold, Dietmar Pfahl, and Michael Felderer for the great support setting up this event! Not to forget the entire Profes 2017 organization team and all the authors of the position papers!
Marco
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added a research item
Software and system development is complex and diverse, and a multitude of development approaches is used and combined with each other to address the manifold challenges companies face today. To study the current state of the practice and to build a sound understanding about the utility of different development approaches and their application to modern software system development , in 2016, we launched the HELENA initiative. This paper introduces the 2nd HELENA workshop and provides an overview of the current project state. In the workshop, six teams present initial findings from their regions, impulse talk are given, and further steps of the HELENA roadmap are discussed.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Our team got an article on hybrid development in Europe accepted in IEEE Software. Data collection for the 2nd stage is still ongoing. Participate in the study to help us collecting as many data points as possible. Meanwhile, check out the author version of our article here: Hybrid Software Development Approaches in Practice: A European Perspective
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added a research item
Agile and traditional development approaches are used in combination in today’s software development. To improve the understanding and to provide better guidance for selecting appropriate development approaches, it is important to analyze such combinations in practice. Results obtained from an online survey strongly confirm that hybrid development approaches are widely used in industry. Our results show that hybrid development approaches: (i) have become reality for nearly all companies; (ii) are applied to specific projects even in the presence of company-wide policies for process usage; (iii) are neither planned nor designed but emerge from the evolution of different work practices; and, (iv) are consistently used regardless of company size or industry sector.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
The 2nd HELENA workshop's preparation is gaining speed. We received a number of status and position papers, and talk announcements. Let's go through the review now. Stay updated by following our Twitter tweets - and also have a look at our workshop website: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/2nd-helena-workshop-november-29-2017/
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
The website of the 2nd HELENA workshop has been updated: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/2nd-helena-workshop-november-29-2017/
For the 2nd workshop, we also invite "externals", i.e., people who follow HELENA but are not part of the team. We appreciate the submission of 4-page position statements that contribute to the critical discussion in the group. Position statements are due August 27, 2017 23:59 AoE (detailed information, follow the link above).
For the HELENA team: region reports are due August 27 as well ;) If you have questions, just contact us: Jürgen Münch , Philipp Diebold , or just me.
PS: Tonight, we reached 500 complete data points! Congrats for reaching this milestone and thanks to the whole team for all the work!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Today, we just published the website for the 2nd HELENA workshop, which will be held in Innsbruck, Austria on November 29, 2017. For further information, see here: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/2nd-helena-workshop-november-29-2017/
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
The HELENA team says Thanks and welcomes team Portugal represented by Mushtaq Raza and João Pascoal Faria - it's a pleasure to have you on board!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
This Wednesday, we will have our first HELENA workshop (co-located with ICSSP 2017 in Paris; http://icssp-conferences.org/icssp2017/program/workshops/ and https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/helena-results/1st-helena-workshop/). We will meet and discuss the current state of the survey and, moreover, we will start designing working groups and the next steps.
See you soon in Paris!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
A number of HELENA team members will attend the International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering Conference (EASE; http://ease2017.bth.se/), which starts tomorrow, June 14, 2017. At least, Michael Felderer, Vahid Garousi, Stephen G. MacDonell, Sarah Beecham, and myself will be there. And maybe even more people...
Do you want to talk to us? For sure, we will find some time :D
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Today, some members of the HELENA team will meet at ICSE conference. So, if you want to have some information about HELENA or if you just want to meet the guys, look for Paolo Tell, Nicolás Paez, Michael Felderer and all the other guys ;)
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Team Germany has started data collection with the first couple of invitations sent out to partners today. More will follow. Let's start :D
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added a research item
A software process is the game plan to organize project teams and run projects. Yet, it still is a challenge to select the appropriate development approach for the respective context. A multitude of development approaches compete for the users' favor, but there is no silver bullet serving all possible setups. Moreover, recent research as well as experience from practice shows companies utilizing different development approaches to assemble the best-fitting approach for the respective company: a more traditional process provides the basic framework to serve the organization, while project teams embody this framework with more agile (and/or lean) practices to keep their flexibility. The first HELENA workshop aims to bring together the community to discuss recent findings and to steer future work.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
It's done. With the help of the many collaborators, we developed the second and even better edition of the HELENA Survey. You can find the survey here:
The survey is available in English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, and the survey opens May 3, 2017, 0:00 and accepts answers until July 31, 2017. Spread the word and participate - we look forward to many new insights. Please also follow us on Twitter (@helena_survey) to get latest information quickly. You can find further information about the team and the HELENA events on our project website: https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/
Finally, many people worked hard to reach this status, and this post is also a very big Thanks for all the work and the time these people spent. Even though many contributed, our special thanks goes to Philipp Diebold and Paolo Tell who carried most of the questionnaire implementation load. Furthermore, thanks to Marcos Kalinowski, Gustavo López, Marcela Genero, and Fergal Mccaffery (and also the other unsung heroes) for coordinating and doing the translation. Finally, Eric Knauss, Christian Prause, Vahid Garousi, and Oliver Linssen have to be named as the closest sparring partners during the questionnaire's revision. I could continue this list, but for all the others that weren't mentioned here: You guys also deserve a big thank you!
Now, let's get things rolling.
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
HELENA stage 2 is ready to start. Currently, the material is in the final internal team review. We expect the official start May 2, 2017. In order to get all updates timely, follow this RG project, but also visit our website https://helenastudy.wordpress.com/ and follow us on Twitter @helena_survey
Looking forward to start the next iteration :D
The organization team: Marco, Philipp Diebold, Jürgen Münch and Paolo Tell
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
The preprint of the ICSSP 2017 paper reporting the first outcomes of HELENA's stage 1 is now online. Thanks to ALL collaborators - that is a great piece of work! Now looking forward to the paper's presentation.
But also: HELENA 2 is about to start. All preparations done, and the team will start working next week.
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added a research item
Software and system development faces numerous challenges of rapidly changing markets. To address such challenges, companies and projects design and adopt specific development approaches by combining well-structured comprehensive methods and flexible agile practices. Yet, the number of methods and practices is large, and available studies argue that the actual process composition is carried out in a fairly ad-hoc manner. The present paper reports on a survey on hybrid software development approaches. We study which approaches are used in practice, how different approaches are combined, and what contextual factors influence the use and combination of hybrid software development approaches. Our results from 69 study participants show a variety of development approaches used and combined in practice. We show that most combinations follow a pattern in which a traditional process model serves as framework in which several fine-grained (agile) practices are plugged in. We further show that hybrid software development approaches are independent from the company size and external triggers. We conclude that such approaches are the results of a natural process evolution, which is mainly driven by experience, learning, and pragmatism.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
We are currently working hard to get everything ready for stage two. That is, from now on, there will be more frequent updates here. To get latest (real-time) news, please follow us on Twitter (@helena_survey). We are also finalizing the first version of the project's website - link follows soon.
And, not to forget, since we launched this project in 2016 at ICSSP 2016 in Austin, TX, we will have the first HELENA workshop co-located with ICSSP 2017 in Paris (see http://icssp-conferences.org/). So, there is much ahead this year :)
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
The first paper from the HELENA survey (stage 1) was accepted at International Conference on Software System Process (ICSSP) 2017. Great collaboration! Thanks a lot! Preprint, data, and further updates will be available soon...
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
HELENA stage 2 is about to start
We currently consolidate the HELENA 2 Team, translate the questionnaires and prepare the launch. It's gonna be exciting: ~50 people from ~20 countries! :D
Marco
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added 2 research items
For years, agile methods are considered the most promising route toward successful software development, and a considerable number of publications studies the (successful) use of agile methods and reports on the benefits companies have from adopting agile methods. Yet, since the world is not black or white, the question for what happened to the traditional models arises. Are traditional models replaced by agile methods? How is the transformation toward Agile managed, and, moreover, where did it start? With this paper we close a gap in literature by studying the general process use over time to investigate how traditional and agile methods are used. Is there coexistence or do agile methods accelerate the traditional processes' extinction? The findings of our literature study comprise two major results: Studies and reliable numbers on the general process model use are rare, i.e., we lack quantitative data on the actual process use and, thus, we often lack the ability to ground process-related research in practically relevant issues. Second, despite the assumed superiority of agile methods, our results clearly show that companies enact context-specific hybrid solutions in which traditional and agile development approaches are used in combination.
A software process is the game plan to organize project teams and run projects. Yet, it still is a challenge to select the appropriate development approach for the respective context. A multitude of development approaches compete for the users’ favor, but there is no silver bullet serving all possible setups. Moreover, recent research as well as experience from practice shows companies utilizing different development approaches to assemble the best-fitting approach for the respective company: a more traditional process provides the basic framework to serve the organization, while project teams embody this framework with more agile (and/or lean) practices to keep their flexibility. The paper at hand provides insights into the HELENA study with which we aim to investigate the use of “Hybrid dEveLopmENt Approaches in software systems development”. We present the survey design and initial findings from the survey’s test runs. Furthermore, we outline the next steps towards the full survey.
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Time for a quick update: Currently, we are in the (hopefully ;) final revisions for stage 2. Updates follow soon.
Regarding stage 1:
  • Data analysis is on the way (looks exciting so far :D )
  • We prepare publications
  • Participants of stage 1, who signed up for the results will be notified soon
So, we're working...
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Today, first official presentation of the HELENA survey (see: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305468760_On_the_Use_of_Hybrid_Development_Approaches_in_Software_and_Systems_Development_Construction_and_Test_of_the_HELENA_Survey). We are now preparing first result presentation for stage 1.
We are also finalizing the preparations for stage 2 - updates follow soon.
 
Paolo Tell
added an update
Preliminary results of Stage 1 being presented today at the AgilityLab event http://www.meetup.com/AgilityLab/events/229579111/
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Stage 1 data cleaning (almost) done. We are now preparing reporting. AND: Preparations for stage 2 just started...
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Stage 1 data extracted and initially reviewed. Looks great. Next week, we start with data cleaning, then analysis - exciting :D
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Initial information about the instrument and some test data (note: not good for real analyses, but good enough to show the general direction): https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305468760_On_the_Use_of_Hybrid_Development_Approaches_in_Software_and_Systems_Development_Construction_and_Test_of_the_HELENA_Survey
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
As a first small "event", we will present HELENA in October to the German community (see http://fg-wi-vm.gi.de/veranstaltung0/tagungen/projektmanagement-vorgehensmodelle-2016.html). Topics are the construction of HELENA and a discussion of the HELENA trails conducted with the FOM and DLR.
By the way: HELENA stage 1 is closed. We received 69 answers. Thanks to all participants!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
First stage of the HELENA survey just closed. Thanks to all participants of this stage. Over the summer, we will have the first data analysis. So, stay tuned for updates!
After the summer, on this page, you'll find some preliminary information and some more details for the next stages of the study. Enjoy your summer!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
First stage of the HELENA survey (see: https://goo.gl/forms/4LW7cpHZXE) is coming to an end. Thanks to all participants that spent 20 minutes.
Please participate until July 15, 2016 and help us to round out the picture in the first stage. After the summer break, we will continue with stage 2 - and in even more countries :)
Enjoy your summer!
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
Just today, started the first status check of the 1st survey stage. Also, we are currently writing a small paper for the German Computer Society to explain what HELENA is about and what we have learned in the test runs...
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added an update
A small motivation for this research can be found here:
This survey is grounded in some previous work in which we found that companies utilize multiple (software and systems) development approaches - quite often in combination - yet, we lack information about the actual way of selecting and combining these approaches. HELENA aims at collecting exactly this kind of data.
 
Marco Kuhrmann
added a project goal
The HELENA survey aims to investigate the use of hybrid development approaches in software systems development - from emerging and innovative sectors to regulated domains.
The survey can be found here: http://goo.gl/forms/4LW7cpHZXE
The overall goal of this survey is to investigate, what the current state of the practice in software and systems development is. In particular, we aim to study, which development approaches (traditional, agile, main-stream, or home-grown) are used in practice and how they are combined, how such combinations were developed over time, and if and how standards (e.g., safety standards) affect the development process as such and the methods applied. With this information, we aim to push forward systematic process design and improvement activities to allow for more efficient and less-overhead development approaches.