The OpenXP Solution
For the Strategic Consolidation of Multiple Diverse Perspectives on Agile Software Projects
About the Book
Over recent decades, an abundance of reports have established that significant difficulties are experienced with the development of requirements in software projects. Traditionally, requirements are documented prior to development remaining fixed with little scope for subsequent change. However, for competitive domains, change to initial expectations frequently occurs and should be accommodated to increase the likelihood of project success. Agile Methods (AMs) recognise this, creating shorter development cycles and increased customer involvement, thus contributing toward higher levels of adaptability for changing requirements. However, despite widespread adoption, problems still remain as considerable difficulty exists in managing negotiation between interdisciplinary stakeholder groups. Specific problems include difficulty achieving a collaborative approach, early detection, and resolution of requirements conflict and limited access to suitable stakeholders also contributes toward developers not fully understanding the domain.
In response to these challenges, this book has been written to address the inclusion of input from critical stakeholders on software development projects. This is achieved by utilizing Home Care Systems (HCS) as an exemplar for Dynamically Adaptive Systems (DAS), illustrating how AMs can be extended to better suit the desirable characteristics for an evolutionary Requirements Engineering (RE) approach to be developed. The findings from multiple studies, both academic and industry-based, inform the development of a novel evolutionary framework called OpenXP to improve the facilitation of agile requirements elicitation in complex business domains.
OpenXP provides the Agile Business Analyst with a practical solution to the strategic consolidation of multiple diverse viewpoints in developing a representative perspective of the overall project goal. Specifically, this novel approach introduces a more participatory elicitation process, extending hands-on support for prioritization, decision making, and the provision of an informative workspace, including upper level business context needed for developing user stories. The OpenXP framework is a three-phased solution consisting of nine specific steps linked with four broader facets. Each facet is then responsible for implementing one or more strategic functions that comprise Stakeholder Coordination, Business and IT Alignment, Effective Communication, Adaptability Integration on agile software projects.
About the Author
Sandra Walsh was awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in computing in Internet Technologies in 2008. Since then, she has pursued a career in research and has had a number of academic research papers accepted for publication at peer-reviewed conferences and journals around the world. As an internationally published author in the field of software engineering, Sandra developed a novel evolutionary framework to coordinate effective interactions between interdisciplinary stakeholders on complex agile software projects. This work was recently accepted as a valuable contribution to the software engineering body of knowledge, and she is credited with a PhD in computer science, awarded from Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) in Ireland.
Sandra has dedicated a number of years to examining the root cause of Requirements Engineering (RE) challenges reported across academic research and industrial practice. More specifically, she has focused on examining the set of human-related factors that affect the communication of requirements in RE, primarily with a view to recreating the conditions under which requirements are successfully communicated on software projects in practice. This valuable experience motivated her to develop a unique perspective on the concept of generating lean value stream interactions between multiple diverse stakeholder groups involved on software projects. Sandra's synthesis of expertise also comprises a wealth of in-depth knowledge in agile software development methods, with a strong focus on effectively extending the customer role and specialist proficiency in adapting the values, principles, and practices of these methods.
Primarily, her most recent work has concentrated on developing OpenXP, an evolutionary approach to agile RE, which presents an entirely unique combination of three existing methods 1) Open Space Technology (OST), 2) Scenario-Based Development, and 3) eXtreme Programming (XP).The OpenXP solution is the first of its kind to offer direct hands-on support to agile practitioners in formulating a communication-centric approach, to achieving effective and efficient interactions, for collaborative requirements engineering in agile software development.