Towards the statistical construction of hybrid development methods

Paolo Tell, Jil Klünder, Steffen Küpper, David Raffo, Stephen MacDonell, Jürgen Münch, Dietmar Pfahl, Oliver Linssen, Marco Kuhrmann

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


Hardly any software development process is used as prescribed by authors or standards. Regardless of company size or industry sector, a majority of project teams and companies use hybrid development methods (short: hybrid methods) that combine different development methods and practices. Even though such hybrid methods are highly individualized, a common understanding of how to systematically construct synergetic practices is missing. In this article, we make a first step towards a statistical construction procedure for hybrid methods. Grounded in 1467 data points from a large‐scale practitioner survey, we study the question: What are hybrid methods made of and how can they be systematically constructed? Our findings show that only eight methods and few practices build the core of modern software development. Using an 85% agreement level in the participants' selections, we provide examples illustrating how hybrid methods can be characterized by the practices they are made of. Furthermore, using this characterization, we develop an initial construction procedure, which allows for defining a method frame and enriching it incrementally to devise a hybrid method using ranked sets of practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Software: Evolution and Process
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • hybrid methods
  • software development
  • software process
  • survey research


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