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Summary of the 1 st International Workshop on Impact of Agile Practices (ImpAct 2015)



Agile software development has become well known to the community and is nowadays frequently used for the development of different kinds of software systems. Agile methods are widely spread and often adapted to the context-specific needs. The adaptations constitute reductions and/or extensions of agile practices. Yet, we have limited knowledge about the impact of some of the individual practices, which is crucial to justify organizational changes. To systemize the knowledge of the impact of agile practices, we launch this workshop and invite researchers and practitioners to work on a documenting and accumulating their experiences in a knowledge base.
Summary of the 1st International Workshop on
Impact of Agile Practices (ImpAct 2015)
Philipp Diebold
Fraunhofer IESE,
Kaiserslautern, Germany
Daniel Méndez Fernández
Technische Universität München,
Munich, Germany
Darja Šmite
Blekinge Institute of Technology,
Karlskrona, Sweden
Agile software development has become well known to the
community and is nowadays frequently used for the development
of different kinds of software systems. Agile methods are widely
spread and often adapted to the context-specific needs. The
adaptations constitute reductions and/or extensions of agile
practices. Yet, we have limited knowledge about the impact of
some of the individual practices, which is crucial to justify
organizational changes. To systemize the knowledge of the impact
of agile practices, we launch this workshop and invite researchers
and practitioners to work on a documenting and accumulating
their experiences in a knowledge base.
Categories and Subject Descriptors
D.2.9 [Software Engineering Management]: Software process
General Terms
Measurement, Documentation, Standardization.
Software processes, software process improvement (SPI), agile,
agile development, agile practices, impact model, causal model,
knowledge base.
Agile Software Development has become a commonly used
software development methodology for various domains [6]. Yet,
there are some domains, especially in the field of embedded
reactive systems which is dominated by complex and distributed
processes with many contractors, where agile is often not accepted
t all. Those who adapt agile methods, such as Scrum, perform
many changes so that the methods and principles fit their context
Adaptations of agile methods often manifest on the lower
level of granularity, because specific (agile) practices of the
different methods, such as pair programming, are replaced,
extended, changed and/or avoided. If looking at the huge diversity
of agile methods that appeared during the last decades [1], the
publication landscape has become wide and full of very specific-
purpose agile practices. But only for a small part of the large
number of practices, such as pair programming, there is
trustworthy evidence available about their impact on different
aspects [2][5], e.g. development process, people, work products,
and quality. Such evidence is, however, crucial for a founded and
justifiable decision of which agile practices to use, and which
practices improve software development processes in response to
which context-specific characteristic.
To address these research gaps, the primary purpose of the 1st
Workshop on Impact of Agile Practices is to discuss our current
state of evidence on the impact of agile practices, and develop
ideas regarding the necessary progress, in particular, initiating the
work on a knowledge base of some sort that intends to accumulate
the evidence of impacts of agile practices. In this summary, we
present the detailed workshop plan including ideas and topics in
Section 2 and expected workshop outcomes in Section 3.
There is a need of identifying and systematizing the impacts of
agile practices for improving software processes in a goal-oriented
and context-specific manner. Since there is only limited
experience published so far, we lack knowledge about which
experience has been achieved in which contexts. Thus, the first
workshop is conducted as an interactive discussion for the
elaboration of initial ideas of how to collect evidence on the
impact of agile practices. To accommodate this, the workshop is
organized as follows:
The workshop starts with providing a short introduction into
the general topic and its motivation.
After the initial introduction, the workshop organizers as
well as selected participants present their experience,
motivation, ideas or expectations in relation to the different
topics of the workshop.
The presentation round is followed by the main part of the
workshop, the group discussions in an interactive open-
space manner. The starting topics are the meta-model,
elaboration and structuring of existing impacts of agile
practices, collection of the new impacts of agile practices,
and their operationalization.
The results of the different working groups are then
presented and discussed.
Finally, a short summary and conclusion is given by the
workshop organizers based on the different findings of the
workshop to elaborate future work as a community strategy
w.r.t. continuous data collection, dissemination,
publications, and follow-up meetings.
The topics described in the following sub-sections outline
the rationale for the main four topics as the scope of the workshop
on the impact of agile practices.
2.1 Meta-Model
A meta-model serves as a foundation to define (1) how to
structure the content elaborated within the community and (2)
how to share the results within the community or public.
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ICSSP’15, Augu st 2426, 2015, Tallin n, Estonia.
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The definitive version was published in the conference/workshop proceedings.
For this reason, we use the Agile Practices Impact Model of
Diebold and Zehler [4] as a starting point to define such a meta-
model for the impact of agile practices, taking advantage of the
already proposed concept, terms, and relations.
2.2 Elaboration and Structuring of Existing
Impacts of Agile Practices
To succeed with understanding the impact of agile practices, it is
important to structure the already existing experiences (agile
practices and their impacts) be it reported evidences or personal
practical experiences. The major challenges to overcome are
related to the diversity of different data sources which range from
scientifically published evidence, such as systematic literature
reviews (SLRs), surveys, experience reports, and existing grey
literature to personal experience.
In addition to the use of existing sources, we discuss the
option of designing and launching our own survey project within
the community, similar as done on requirements engineering (RE)
via the NaPiRE-survey project1. In this case, further thoughts on
how and where to spread such a survey to collect necessary and
reasonable data are shared.
2.3 Collection of the New Impacts of Agile
One task we opt for during the workshop is to initiate the
collection of the evidences on the impact of selected agile
practices. This can be done through a aforementioned survey (see
section 2.2). We discuss how to structure and report such
evidences using the constructs and rules defined by the meta-
model (see section 2.1). The primary scope is not to conduct a
regular (exhaustive) data collection, but to provide one exemplary
instantiation of the meta-model (Sect. 2.1) and to discuss whether
the structure for collecting and reporting impacts is suitable and
sustainable for future usage.
2.4 Operationalization and Usage of the
Impacts of Agile Practices
In contrast to the other three topics, which deal to a certain extent
with the collection of the impacts of agile practices, this topic
focuses on the operationalization and usage of the impacts in the
industrial practice. We believe it is important for practitioners
who participate in the workshop to get some practical guidance on
which agile practices can be implemented in which way in a
specific context. To support this, we engage them in discussing
the ways of establishing a measurement program in the companies
to accumulate the effect/impact of agile practices in their use. This
trustworthy impact could then be reintegrated into the existing
evidenced base.
Ideas elaborated and discussed during the workshop lay the
ground for a set of more or less technical outputs:
Position statement regarding the need of impact of agile
practices for improving software development processes;
Revised version of the initial meta-model (as proposed in [4]);
List of different types of evidence sources, e.g. scientific
publications (SLRs, exp. reports), white papers, surveys, etc.
1 See
List of already known, readily available data sources, e.g. [2]
and [5] as evidence for pair programming, or contacts of
practitioners with personal experience;
Ideas of how to collect further data regarding the impact of
agile practices;
Strategy of operationalization / implementation of agile
practices in different industrial contexts.
In addition to those more technical outputs, there are further
aspects that are a part of the workshop or the follow-up work,
which we summarize next.
3.1 Community
Since we are aware of the breadth of the area concerned, i.e.
collection and maintenance of the impacts of agile practices, the
workshop provides a common forum and a stimulus to establish a
community working on different aspects related to the impact of
agile practices (e.g. specific agile practices, specific aspects w.r.t.
collection, measurement or maintenance of the evidence, or
specific contexts). The annual workshop shall form the basis for a
long-term collaboration between the community members.
3.2 Roadmap and Strategy
In addition to the community building, we aim for establishing a
roadmap and strategy for the community. This concerns
formulating guidance and agreed plan of the future research
activities, including regular meetings and collaboration platform
to support distributed working (e.g. shared workspace, online
meetings) as well as a possible location and time for a follow-up
workshop. In summary, we derive a coarse strategy as well as a
list of To-Do’s for the next meeting(s) and workshops.
Finally, the dissemination of the results of the workshop to
support the visibility of the community is discussed. Hence, the
roadmap shall encompass a publication plan.
Our thanks to Thomas Zehler for supporting us to plan the
workshop and the conference organizers for supporting us to
promote and conduct the workshop at the ICSSP 2015. This
workshop will be supported by the Software Campus project
(BMBF 01IS12053).
[1] Abrahamsson, P., Warsta, J., Siponen, M.T., and Ronkainen,
J. 2003. New directions on agile methods: a comparative
analysis. In Proceedings of the ICSE '03. IEEE Computer
Society, Washington, DC, USA, 244-254.
[2] Arisholm, E., Gallis, H., Dyba, T. and Sjoberg, D., 2007.
Evaluating Pair Programming with Respect to System
Complexity and Programmer Expertise. IEEE Transaction
on Software Engineering 33, 2 (Feb. 2007), 65-86.
[3] Diebold, P., Ostberg, J.P., Wagner, S., and Zendler, U. 2015.
What Do Practitioners Vary in Using Scrum? In Proceedings
of XP’15. Springer, Germany, LNBIP 212, 40-52.
[4] Diebold, P. and Zehler, T. 2015. The Agile Practices Impact
Model Idea, Concept, and Application Scenario. In
Proceedings of ICSSP’15. ACM, New York, NY, USA.
[5] Hulkko, H., and Abrahamsson, P. 2005. A multiple case
study on the impact of pair programming on product quality.
In Proceedings of ICSE '05. ACM, USA, 495-504.
[6] VersionOne Inc. 2015. 9th Annual State of Agile Survey.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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What Do Practitioners Vary in Using Scrum?
  • P Diebold
  • J P Ostberg
  • S Wagner
  • U Zendler
Diebold, P., Ostberg, J.P., Wagner, S., and Zendler, U. 2015. What Do Practitioners Vary in Using Scrum? In Proceedings of XP'15. Springer, Germany, LNBIP 212, 40-52.
What Do Practitioners Vary in Using Scrum? In Proceedings of XP’15. Springer, Germany
  • Diebold P.