Enhancing Extreme Programming (XP) with Environment Analysis

F. Keenan (Ireland) and D. Bustard (UK)


Soft Systems Methodology, eXtreme Programming.


Software development can be treated as a form of ‘problem solving’. The two main activities are then (i) understanding the problem, by analysing the situation to determine relevant requirements; and (ii) solving the problem, by implementing software that takes account of those requirements. This paper argues that eXtreme Programming (XP) currently places insufficient emphasis on problem understanding and proposes an approach that offers additional front end analysis based on Soft Systems Methodology (SSM). The models of SSM are linked to XP through user stories. The first part of the paper outlines the process involved. This is followed by details of an initial investigation of the proposal, involving experimental group projects with undergraduate computing students. The results highlight some of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach, indicating directions for future research.

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