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Über dieses Buch

This open access book constitutes the proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Agile Software Development, XP 2021, which was held virtually during June 14-18, 2021.

XP is the premier agile software development conference combining research and practice. It is a unique forum where agile researchers, practitioners, thought leaders, coaches, and trainers get together to present and discuss their most recent innovations, research results, experiences, concerns, challenges, and trends.  XP conferences provide an informal environment to learn and trigger discussions and welcome both people new to agile and seasoned agile practitioners. This year’s conference was held with the theme “Agile Turns Twenty While the World Goes Online”.

The 11 full and 2 short papers presented in this volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 38 submissions. They were organized in topical sections named: agile practices; process assessment; large-scale agile; and short contributions.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Agile Practices

Frontmatter

Open Access

From Collaboration to Solitude and Back: Remote Pair Programming During COVID-19

Abstract
Along with the increasing popularity of agile software development, software work has become much more social than ever. Contemporary software teams rely on a variety of collaborative practices, such as pair programming, the topic of our study. Many agilists advocated the importance of collocation, face-to-face interaction, and physical artefacts incorporated in the shared workspace, which the COVID-19 pandemic made unavailable; most software companies around the world were forced to send their engineers to work from home. As software projects and teams overnight turned into distributed collaborations, we question what happened to the pair programming practice in the work-from-home mode. This paper reports on a longitudinal study of remote pair programming in two companies. We conducted 38 interviews with 30 engineers from Norway, Sweden, and the USA, and used the results of a survey in one of the case companies. Our study is unique as we collected the data longitudinally in April/May 2020, Sep/Oct 2020, and Jan/Feb 2021. We found that pair programming has decreased and some interviewees report not pairing at all for almost a full year. The experiences of those who paired vary from actively co-editing the code by using special tools to more passively co-reading and discussing the code and solutions by sharing the screen. Finally, we found that the interest in and the use of PP over time, since the first months of the forced work from home to early 2021, has admittedly increased, also as a social practice.
Darja Smite, Marius Mikalsen, Nils Brede Moe, Viktoria Stray, Eriks Klotins

Open Access

UX Work in Software Start-Ups: Challenges from the Current State of Practice

Abstract
Software start-ups develop innovative software products working with disruptive technologies in time pressure and market-driven environment. Recently, User eXperience (UX) has become a hot topic that interests software teams of start-ups. However, software and UX professionals have struggled to match UX practices into the development activities, partially because of the lack of resources in the start-ups. This paper investigates how software start-ups handle UX activities during software development and how relevant UX is to these companies’ professionals. To achieve our aim, we surveyed 88 professionals who take part in software teams in star-ups, analyzing the responses using descriptive and statistical methods. Our results reveal that regardless of having or not a UX position in the start-up, UX practices are spread in different software development phases and not fitting into them. Results also show although professionals consider UX relevant and recognize important skills to perform UX activities, some obstacles hinder the effective use of UX in software start-ups. From the survey results, we identified a set of challenges to be overcome in consolidating the UX work in software start-ups. By diagnosing the UX state-of-practice in start-up scenarios and identifying such challenges, our work contributes to provides relevant insights to further academic and practical studies in this field.
Sofia A. M. Silveira, Joelma Choma, Roberto Pereira, Eduardo M. Guerra, Luciana A. M. Zaina

Open Access

How to Write Ethical User Stories? Impacts of the ECCOLA Method

Abstract
Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are increasing in significance within software services. Unfortunately, these systems are not flawless. Their faults, failures and other systemic issues have emphasized the urgency for consideration of ethical standards and practices in AI engineering. Despite the growing number of studies in AI ethics, comparatively little attention has been placed on how ethical issues can be mitigated in software engineering (SE) practice. Currently understanding is lacking regarding the provision of useful tools that can help companies transform high-level ethical guidelines for AI ethics into the actual workflow of developers. In this paper, we explore the idea of using user stories to transform abstract ethical requirements into tangible outcomes in Agile software development. We tested this idea by studying master’s level student projects (15 teams) developing web applications for a real industrial client over the course of five iterations. These projects resulted in 250+ user stories that were analyzed for the purposes of this paper. The teams were divided into two groups: half of the teams worked using the ECCOLA method for AI ethics in SE, while the other half, a control group, was used to compare the effectiveness of ECCOLA. Both teams were tasked with writing user stories to formulate customer needs into system requirements. Based on the data, we discuss the effectiveness of ECCOLA, and Primary Empirical Contributions (PECs) from formulating ethical user stories in Agile development.
Erika Halme, Ville Vakkuri, Joni Kultanen, Marianna Jantunen, Kai-Kristian Kemell, Rebekah Rousi, Pekka Abrahamsson

Process Assessment

Frontmatter

Open Access

Setting the Scope for a New Agile Assessment Model: Results of an Empirical Study

Abstract
Agile software development methods have been increasingly adopted by many organizations at different organizational levels. Whether named agile adoption, agile transition, agile transformation, digital transformation or new ways of working, the success of embracing this change process mostly remains uncertain. This is primarily because there are many ways of evaluating success. Based on the existing agile assessment models, we developed a model of principles with associated practice clusters that serves as a core for a new agile assessment model that is capable of assessing agile organizations at different scale. Towards our ultimate goal to establish a lightweight, context-sensitive agile maturity model, we validated our initial findings in an expert interview study to identify improvement points, and ensure the at hand model’s applicability, coherence and relevance. The results of the interview study show that the structure as well as the content of our assessment model fits with the experts’ expectations and experience.
Doruk Tuncel, Christian Körner, Reinhold Plösch

Open Access

Towards a Standardized Questionnaire for Measuring Agility at Team Level

Abstract
Context: Twenty years after the publication of the agile manifesto, agility is becoming more and more popular in different contexts. Agile values are changing the way people work together and influence people’s mindset as well as the culture of organizations. Many organizations have understood that continuous improvement is based on measurement.
Objective: The objective of this paper is to present how agility can be measured at the team level. For this reason, we will introduce our questionnaire for measuring agility, which is based on the agile values of the manifesto.
Method: We developed a questionnaire comprising 36 items that measure the current state of a team’s agility in six dimensions (communicative, change-affine, iterative, self-organized, product-driven and improvement-oriented). This questionnaire has been evaluated with respect to several expert reviews and in a case study.
Results: The questionnaire provides a method for measuring the current state of agility, which takes the individual context of the team into account. Furthermore, our research shows, that this technique enables the user to uncover dysfunctionalities in a team.
Conclusion: Practitioners and organizations can use our questionnaire to optimize collaboration within their teams in terms of agility. In particular, the value delivery of an organization can be increased by optimizing collaboration at the team level. The development of this questionnaire is a continuous learning process with the aim to develop a standardized questionnaire for measuring agility.
Hanna Looks, Jannik Fangmann, Jörg Thomaschewski, María-José Escalona, Eva-Maria Schön

Open Access

The Impact of Agile Transformations on Organizational Performance: A Survey of Teams, Programs and Portfolios

Abstract
While many organizations embark on agile transformations, they can lack insight into the actual impact of these transformations across organizational layers. In this paper, we collect new and study existing evidence on the impact of agile transformations on organizational performance across teams, programs and portfolios. We conducted an international survey collecting the perceptions of agile coaches, transformation leads and other relevant roles, and we correlated levels of agile maturity to the perceptions on dimensions of organizational performance. Based on 134 responses from 29 countries across 16 industries, (1) we consolidated understanding of the benefits of agile transformations based on prior evidence and our data from a more diverse and larger sample, (2) we identified the dimensions impacted by agile transformations as being productivity, responsiveness, quality, workflow health and employee satisfaction & engagement and (3) we traced specific benefits on those dimensions to individual organizational layers of teams, programs and portfolios, showing the magnitude of impact of each dimension per layer. Overall, we can conclude that agile transformations have a variety of strong organizational benefits. This aggregated evidence allows reflection on transformation trends, but also enables organizations to optimize their agile transformation efforts.
Christoph Johann Stettina, Victor van Els, Job Croonenberg, Joost Visser

Open Access

Measuring Software Delivery Performance Using the Four Key Metrics of DevOps

Abstract
The Four Key Metrics of DevOps have become very popular for measuring IT-performance and DevOps adoption. However, the measurement of the four metrics deployment frequency, lead time for change, time to restore service and change failure rate is often done manually and through surveys - with only few data points. In this work we evaluated how the Four Key Metrics can be measured automatically and developed a prototype for the automatic measurement of the Four Key Metrics. We then evaluated if the measurement is valuable for practitioners in a company. The analysis shows that the chosen measurement approach is both suitable and the results valuable for the team with respect to measuring and improving the software delivery performance.
Marc Sallin, Martin Kropp, Craig Anslow, James W. Quilty, Andreas Meier

Large-scale Agile

Frontmatter

Open Access

Evolution of the Agile Scaling Frameworks

Abstract
Over the past decade, agile methods have become the favored choice for projects undertaken in rapidly changing environments. The success of agile methods in small, co-located projects has inspired companies to apply them in larger projects. Agile scaling frameworks, such as Large Scale Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework, have been invented by practitioners to scale agile to large projects and organizations. Given the importance of agile scaling frameworks, research on those frameworks is still limited. This paper presents our findings from an empirical survey answered by the methodologists of 15 agile scaling frameworks. We explored (i) framework evolution, (ii) main reasons behind their creation, (iii) benefits, and (iv) challenges of adopting these frameworks. The most common reasons behind creating the frameworks were improving the organization’s agility and collaboration between agile teams. The most commonly claimed benefits included enabling frequent deliveries and enhancing employee satisfaction, motivation, and engagement. The most mentioned challenges were using frameworks as cooking recipes instead of focusing on changing people’s culture and mindset.
Ömer Uludağ, Abheeshta Putta, Maria Paasivaara, Florian Matthes

Open Access

Coordination Strategies: Managing Inter-team Coordination Challenges in Large-Scale Agile

Abstract
Inter-team coordination in large-scale software development can be challenging when relying on agile development methods that emphasize iterative and frequent delivery in autonomous teams. Previous research has introduced the concept of coordination strategies, which refer to a set of coordination mechanisms to manage dependencies. We report on a case study in a large-scale agile development program with 16 development teams. Through interviews, meeting observations, and supplemental document analyses, we explore the challenges to inter-team coordination and how dependencies are managed. We found four coordination strategies: 1) aligning autonomous teams, 2) maintaining overview in the large-scale setting, 3) managing prioritizations, and 4) managing architecture and technical dependencies. This study extends previous research on coordination strategies within teams to the inter-team level. We propose that large-scale organizations can use coordination strategies to understand how they coordinate across teams and manage their unique coordination situation.
Marthe Berntzen, Viktoria Stray, Nils Brede Moe

Open Access

Challenges of Adopting SAFe in the Banking Industry – A Study Two Years After Its Introduction

Abstract
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a framework for scaling agile methods in large organizations. We have found several experience reports and white papers describing SAFe adoptions in different banks, which indicates that SAFe is being used in the banking industry. However, there is a lack of academic publications on the topic, the banking industry is missing in the scientific reports analyzing SAFe transformations. To fill this gap, we present a study on the main challenges with a SAFe transformation at a large full-service bank. We identify the challenges in the bank under study and compare the findings with experience reports from other banks, as well as with research on SAFe transformations in other domains. Many of the challenges reported in this paper overlap with the generic SAFe challenges, including management and organization, education and training, culture and mindset, requirements engineering, quality assurance, and systems architecture. However, we also report some novel challenges specific to the banking domain, e.g., the risk of jeopardizing customer relations, stability, and trust of external stakeholders. This study validates several SAFe-related challenges reported in previous work in the banking context. It also brings up some novel challenges specific to the banking industry. Therefore, we believe our results are particularly useful to practitioners responsible for SAFe transformations at other banks.
Sara Nilsson Tengstrand, Piotr Tomaszewski, Markus Borg, Ronald Jabangwe

Open Access

Benefits and Challenges of Adopting SAFe - An Empirical Survey

Abstract
During the last two decades, turbulent business environments tempted firms to adopt agile methods to cope with the ever-changing customer demands. The success of agile methods in small and co-located teams inspired companies to apply them to large-scale endeavors. Agile scaling frameworks, such as the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), have been proposed by practitioners to scale agile practices to large projects and enterprises. Companies are increasingly taking these frameworks into use. However, the number of quantitative empirical studies assessing the benefits and challenges of adopting the agile scaling frameworks is still limited. This paper starts filling in this gap by presenting the results from a survey of 100 industry participants around the world on their perception of the benefits and challenges of adopting the SAFe framework. Our results show that the SAFe adoption improves transparency, as well as collaboration and dependency management between agile teams. The most commonly mentioned challenges of the SAFe adoption are organizational politics, difficulties in establishing an agile mindset, change resistance, and team formation challenges.
Abheeshta Putta, Ömer Uludağ, Maria Paasivaara, Shun-Long Hong

Short Contributions

Frontmatter

Open Access

Using a Low Code Development Environment to Teach the Agile Methodology

Abstract
The Agile development methodology is soaring in popularity in the business world. Companies are turning to Agile to develop products quickly and to achieve digital transformation of their organization. Because of this push, companies need employees who understand Agile. Therefore, higher education is obligated to provide an understanding of Agile to students as they enter the workplace. Providing Agile experience to students who are new to programming is difficult because they are so worried about the coding aspects of the assignment, they cannot take time to think about the methodology they are using. The coding crowds out the time needed to get an understanding of how Agile actually works. One remedy for this is to use a low or no-code development platform. With this type of platform students spend less time learning to create apps, freeing them to experience the rituals and roles of Agile. This study examines using the Agile methodology along with the Microsoft Power Apps platform to provide an Agile experience to students. Two course sections were surveyed to learn if students perceived that they acquired a better understanding of Agile and to learn their perceptions of a no-code platform experience. The students completed surveys to ascertain their comfort with the Agile methodology and whether the no-code environment increased their comfort level. The results showed students perceived the no-code platform increased their comfort with using the Agile methodology. The implication is that no-code platforms can be used broadly to help students to gain experience with Agile.
Mary Lebens, Roger Finnegan

Open Access

Comparing Participants’ Brainwaves During Solo, Pair, and Mob Programming

Abstract
Participants’ feelings and impressions utilizing electroencephalography (EEG) and the effectiveness of code are compared for different types of programming sessions. EEG information is obtained as an alternate viewpoint during three programming sessions (solo, pair, and mob programming). MindWave Mobile 2 (brainwave detector) is equipped to collect the attention levels, meditation levels, and EEG brainwaves. These data are utilized to distinguish efficiencies, weaknesses, and points of interest by programming session. The results provide preliminary information to distinguish between the three sessions, but further studies are necessary to make firm conclusions. Additionally, alternative methods or systems are required to analyze the collected data.
Makoto Shiraishi, Hironori Washizaki, Daisuke Saito, Yoshiaki Fukazawa

Backmatter

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