Hybrid Software and System Development in Practice

Marco Kuhrmann, Philipp Diebold, Jürgen Münch, Paolo Tell, Vahid Garousi, Michael Felderer, Kitija Trektere, Fergal McCaffery, Oliver Linssen, Eckhart Hanser, Christian Prause

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalConference articleResearchpeer-review


This paper was accepted and presented in 2017 as a Full Research Paper at the International Conference on Software and Systems Process (ICSSP). This paper examines the question of which software and system development approaches are used in practice. The underlying HELENA study (hybrid dEveLPmENt approaches in software systems development) breaks away from the discussion of "traditional" versus "agile" development and examines actual combinations of processes and methods in so-called hybrid development approaches. This paper reports on the results of the first stage of the HELENA study, in which 69 participants, mainly European, participated in an online survey. Participants were asked to rate and present 40 different development approaches how and why the approaches are used in their companies / projects. The results show that in practice, a structured traditional process often forms the organizational framework for a project, while fine-grained tasks are addressed through individually introduced agile practices. This combination can be found in almost all companies, regardless of company size and industry. In addition, using affinity propagation clustering and spectral clustering, different combination patterns were derived from the data, which were successfully tested for realism with other external studies. Our study shows the widespread use of hybrid development processes and that they usually arise through an individual learning process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLecture Notes in Informatics
VolumeP279 - Software Engineering und Software Management 2018
Pages (from-to)103-105
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Hybrid Development Approaches
  • Software Systems Development
  • Traditional vs. Agile Processes
  • Process Combination Patterns
  • Affinity Propagation Clustering


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