Trade-offs for web application development: understanding and improving current industrial practices
MetadataShow full item record
When web applications are developed with a strong emphasis on time-to-market, the resulting development and trade-opractices are informal and make use of uncertain and fragmented knowledge. Developers and other stakeholders have to perform trade-os using imprecise speci cations, uncertain knowledge, and their beliefs, opinions and interests. In addition, this knowledge is fragmented between the stakeholders, since each one holds his own views, opinions and interests. Performing trade-os therefore involves sharing the stakeholders' knowledge and interests before a balanced decision can be made. The aim of this research is to understand how trade-os are performed in web application development and to improve the current trade-opractices. In this research we have studied the development and trade-opractices in industrial web application development by interviewing eight Norwegian companies. The interviews with the companies identi ed real world problems that have been used further in the research. An analysis of the collected data has resulted in the discovery of several improvement opportunities for the applied trade-o practices. Working with these opportunities has resulted in a trade-ostrategy and several trade-otools. The trade-ostrategy deals with the observation that many companies are unaware that they are performing trade-os and that the trade-otools use qualitative assessments of the stakeholders' belief and opinion to perform such trade-os. Two trade-otools are tested experimentally by running a total of six experiments. The results of the experiments are used to improve a release planning method. By using real world problems from the interviewed companies the research has a realistic approach, yielding results that are relevant for industrial web application development. The following contributions are claimed: First, it describes development practices found in eight small Norwegian Web Application development companies, and focuses in particular on their trade-opractices. Second, a trade-o strategy to create awareness for trade-os, and to enable knowledge sharing between stakeholders, is developed. Third, qualitative assessments of trade-o options are applied and tested, thus enabling prioritisation of trade-ooptions. Fourth, trade-omethods for enabling and facilitating knowledge sharing are developed. These include a release planning method that uses qualitative assessments to express the stakeholders' beliefs and interests. Finally, a subprocess for managing change in web application development is provided, implementing a learning loop for knowledge management.