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Agile software development – do we really calculate the costs? A multivocal literature review

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conference contribution
posted on 2024-03-28, 15:25 authored by Aidan Fogarty, Aaron Edgeworth, Oishin Smith, Michael Dowling, Murat Yilmaz, Silvana Togneri MacMahon, Paul Clarke

Agile software development methods, in their various different forms, have become the basis for most software projects in today’s world. The methodology is present in almost all organisations today. However, despite the popularity, failure rates in software projects remain high. This paper identifies why agile methodologies have become so successful. In addition, the paper discusses certain factors that may often be overlooked in organisations that have adopted agile methods, such as rework, maintainability, adoption, turnover rates and the potential costs associated with each. The research carried out was a multivocal literature review (MLR). Multiple white and grey literature which was deemed to be relevant was selected. 32 contributions from white literature were selected for use in the review as well as 8 from grey literature sources. We find that while agile has many advantages, organisations may overlook the potential downsides of using an agile methodology. If not managed or implemented correctly, organisations risk taking on more hidden and expensive costs, for example in relation to rework. It is important that organisations are sufficiently trained in agile methods in order to succeed.


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Yilmaz, M., Niemann, J., Clarke, P., Messnarz, R. (eds) Systems, Software and Services Process Improvement. EuroSPI 2020. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1251



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