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A Model for Software Contexts

by   Diana Kirk, et al.

It is widely acknowledged by researchers and practitioners that software development methodologies are generally adapted to suit specific project contexts. Research into practices-as-implemented has been fragmented and has tended to focus either on the strength of adherence to a specific methodology or on how the efficacy of specific practices is affected by contextual factors. We submit the need for a more holistic, integrated approach to investigating context-related best practice. We propose a six-dimensional model of the problem-space, with dimensions organisational drivers (why), space and time (where), culture (who), product life-cycle stage (when), product constraints (what) and engagement constraints (how). We test our model by using it to describe and explain a reported implementation study. Our contributions are a novel approach to understanding situated software practices and a preliminary model for software contexts.


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