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Sustaining agility through architecture. Experiences from a joint research and development laboratory

: Weitzel, Balthasar; Rost, Dominik; Scheffe, Mathias


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; IEEE Computer Society; International Federation for Information Processing -IFIP-:
11th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture, WICSA 2014. Proceedings : 7-11 April 2014, Sydney, Australia
Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society Conference Publishing Services (CPS), 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4799-3412-6
Working Conference on Software Architecture (WICSA) <11, 2014, Sydney>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
agile software development; SCRUM; experience report; software architecture; Insiders Technologies GmbH; industry transfer

This paper is an experience report of a long running Scrum project, conducted in a collaboration between industry and research, in a so called "Joint Research and Development Laboratory". Over time in the collaboration, we experienced a constant decrease in the pace of our development progress. Planning forward only within the limits of single sprints was the main reason for this. It resulted in a degenerating design and therefore a lack of flexibility that affected the agility of our project. Therefore, we introduced the concept of "epic-architectures", an architecture design for a coherent group of user stories. Shifting the planning horizon further, across single sprints, helped us to create more stable and reusable concepts and to construct simpler, more elegant, and more maintainable solutions. We were able to significantly reduce the refactoring effort and increase the development speed, without significant overhead. With reporting on our experiences we hope to provide practically applicable guidance on how to integrate lightweight architecting in agile development processes, to sustain agility while creating high quality products.