University of Oulu

Bomström, H., Kelanti, M., Annanperä, E., Liukkunen, K., Kilamo, T., Sievi-Korte, O., & Systä, K. (2023). Information needs and presentation in agile software development. In Information and Software Technology (Vol. 162, p. 107265). Elsevier BV.

Information needs and presentation in agile software development

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Author: Bomström, Henri1; Kelanti, Markus1; Annanperä, Elina1;
Organizations: 1M3S Research Unit, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, Linnanmaa, Oulu, 90014, Finland
2Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Tampere University, Kalevantie 4, Tampere, 33014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-14


Context: Agile software companies applying the DevOps approach require collaboration and information sharing between practitioners in various roles to produce value. Adopting new development practices affects how practitioners collaborate, requiring companies to form a closer connection between business strategy and software development. However, the types of information management, sales, and development needed to plan, evaluate features, and reconcile their expectations with each other need to be clarified.

Objective: To support practitioners in collaborating and realizing changes to their practices, we investigated what information is needed and how it should be represented to support different stakeholders in their tasks. Compared to earlier research, we adopted a holistic approach – by including practitioners throughout the development process – to better understand the information needs from a broader viewpoint.

Method: We conducted six workshops and 12 semi-structured interviews at three Finnish small and medium-sized enterprises from different software domains. Thematic analysis was used to identify information-related issues and information and visualization needs for daily tasks. Three themes were constructed as the result of our analysis.

Results: Visual information representation catalyzes stakeholder discussion, and supporting information exchange between stakeholder groups is vital for efficient collaboration in software product development. Additionally, user-centric data collection practices are needed to understand how software products are used and to support practitioners’ daily information needs. We also found that a passive way of representing information, such as a dashboard that would disturb practitioners only when attention is needed, was preferred for daily information needs.

Conclusion: The software engineering community should consider reviewing the information needs of practitioners from a more holistic view to better understand how tooling support can benefit information exchange between stakeholder groups when making product development decisions and how those tools should be built to accommodate different stakeholder views.

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Series: Information and software technology
ISSN: 0950-5849
ISSN-E: 1873-6025
ISSN-L: 0950-5849
Volume: 162
Article number: 107265
DOI: 10.1016/j.infsof.2023.107265
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: The work was supported by the ITEA3 project VISDOM and partly by the ITEA3 project Oxilate. The authors thank Business Finland for the funding.
Dataset Reference: The data that has been used is confidential.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (