Are software startups applying agile practices? The state of the practice from a large survey
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Software startups operate under various uncertainties and the demand on their ability to deal with change is high. Agile methods are considered a suitable and viable development approach for them. However, the competing needs for speed and quality may render certain agile practices less suitable than others in the startup context. The adoption of agile practices can be further complicated in software startups that adopt the Lean Startup approach. To make the best of agile practices, it is necessary to first understand whether and how they are used in software startups. This study targets at a better understanding of the use of agile practices in software startups, with a particular focus on lean startups. Based on a large survey of 1526 software startups, we examined the use of five agile practices, including quality related (regular refactoring and test first), speed related (frequent release and agile planning) and communication practice (daily standup meeting). The findings show that speed related agile practices are used to a greater extent in comparison to quality practices. Daily standup meeting is least used. Software startups who adopt the Lean Startup approach do not sacrifice quality for speed more than other startups do. © The Author(s) 2017.
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