What are Hybrid Development Methods Made Of? An Evidence-based Characterization

01/20/2021
by   Paolo Tell, et al.
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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.

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