A Case Study: Exploring the Role of Customers on Extreme Programming Projects


Authors: Angela Martin, Elvis Software Design Research Group ~
Source: GZipped PostScript (4898kb); Adobe PDF (2125kb)

eXtreme programming (XP) is one of a new breed of methods, collectively known as the agile or light methods, that are challenging conventional wisdom regarding systems development processes and practices. The agile methods are specifically designed, by practitioners, to meet the business problems and challenges we face building software today in the fast-paced dynamic world of the Internet. As such these methods are receiving significant attention in practitioner literature. In order to effectively operate in the world of vague and changing requirements, XP moves the emphasis away from prescriptive processes into practices that enable people. We used an interpretative in-depth case study to explore a successful XP Project. We obtained multiple perspectives on the implementation of the customer role within the planning process of XP and found the following. Firstly, the XP customer role, especially for larger organisations, is a demanding role. It requires preparation, skills, attention to detail, and the ability to make critical decisions. Secondly, obtaining regular feedback during the project allows the customer to make effective business decisions concerning the system. Finally, the development team must carry out key XP practices in order to enable feedback necessary for the customer to make effective decisions.

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