Requirements Uncertainty in Contract Software Development Projects
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Only a few studies have analyzed the indirect effect that different levels of requirements uncertainty have on the effects of established flexible development techniques. Whereas much of what we know relates to the development of commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS), in this empirical study, we investigate contract software development projects under¬taken for a specific contractor / customer. We analyze how requirements uncertainty moderates the effects of (1) sequen¬tial development, (2) investment in architectural design, and (3) intensity of early feedback on the performance of contract software development projects. We confirm that requirements uncertainty negatively moderates the effects of sequential development and of investment in architectural design. For flexible development approaches, the value of investment in architectural design falls with increasing uncertainty. Early feedback throughout the development process is helpful at any level of requirements uncertainty, potentially dependent on the business relationship between the customer and the software project team.
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