University of Oulu

Eriks Klotins, Michael Unterkalmsteiner, Panagiota Chatzipetrou, Tony Gorschek, Rafael Prikladnicki, Nirnaya Tripathi and Leandro Bento Pompermaier, "Use of Agile Practices in Start-up Companies", In e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 47–64, 2021. DOI: 10.37190/e-Inf210103.

Use of agile practices in start-up companies

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Author: Klotins, Eriks1; Unterkalmsteiner, Michael1; Chatzipetrou, Panagiota2;
Organizations: 1Software Engineering Research Lab, Blekinge Institute of Technology
2Department of Informatics, CERIS, Örebro University School of Business
3Software Engineering Research Lab, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
4Software Engineering Research Lab, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-26


Context: Software start-ups have shown their ability to develop and launch innovative software products and services. Small, motivated teams and uncertain project scope makes start-ups good candidates for adopting Agile practices.

Objective: We explore how start-ups use Agile practices and what effects can be associated with the use of those practices.

Method: We use a case survey to analyze 84 start-up cases and 56 Agile practices. We apply statistical methods to test for statistically significant associations between the use of Agile practices, team, and product factors.

Results: Our results suggest that development of the backlog, use of version control, code refactoring, and development of user stories are the most frequently reported practices. We identify 22 associations between the use of Agile practices, team, and product factors. The use of Agile practices is associated with effects on source code and overall product quality. A teams’ positive or negative attitude towards best engineering practices is a significant indicator for either adoption or rejection of certain Agile practices. To explore the relationships in our findings, we set forth a number of propositions that can be investigated in future research.

Conclusions: We conclude that start-ups use Agile practices, however without following any specific methodology. We identify the opportunity for more fine-grained studies into the adoption and effects of individual Agile practices. Start-up practitioners could benefit from Agile practices in terms of better overall quality, tighter control over team performance, and resource utilization.

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Series: e-informatica software engineering journal
ISSN: 1897-7979
ISSN-E: 2084-4840
ISSN-L: 1897-7979
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Pages: 47 - 64
DOI: 10.37190/E-INF210104
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
512 Business and management
Funding: This work is partially funded by the Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (17/2551-0001/205-4) and the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.
Copyright information: Our journal works under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.