2nd International Workshop on the Impact of Agile Practices
26th May 2017, Cologne (Germany), collocated with XP`17


We aim at building a community working together on this topic to collect necessary evidences on the Impact of Agile Practices.


During the workshop, we plan to elaborate a roadmap on how to proceed with the collection, storing, and distribution of the Impact of Agile Practices.

Process Improvement

As a long-term goal, the results of our workshop will support a context-specific improvement using agile methods based on evidences on the Impact of Agile Practices.


Philipp Diebold

Fraunhofer IESE

Daniel Méndez Fernández

Technische Universität München

Darja Smite

Blekinge Institute of Technology

Stefan Wagner

University of Stuttgart

"To contribute means add a positive or take away own negative."

Muhammad Tariq Majeed


For the development of software, agile development has become a commonly accepted paradigm. Yet, agile methods, such as Scrum or XP, can often not be used out of the box and need adaptation to the particularities of the company-specific context needs [1], e.g. by using selected practices only. Furthermore, within software process improvement (SPI), a step-by-step improvement is preferred over a big-bang strategy. For those reasons, single agile practices, such as pair programming, daily stand-ups, or burn charts, are usually in scope for agile-based SPI rather than considering holistic agile approaches.

To use agile practices in an improvement endeavor, it is crucial to have evidence on the impact of the considered practices. Yet, there is a lack of evidence on the impact these practices have on different characteristics such as cost, time, transparency, communication, risk management, planning or product quality. Only a small subset of practices are eventually grounded on empirical evidence, e.g. via systematic literature reviews on, for instance, pair programming [3, 4] or planning poker [5]. Also because of the difficulties of providing empirical figures that would demonstrate the impact of practices, we still lack a reliable understanding about the impacts which, in turn, are important to justify organizational changes.

For this reason, we started working on this topic by initiating the ImpAct-Workshop (@ICSSP’15) [6]. This workshop yielded in, inter alia, a strategy how to collect impacts [7]. As a consequential next step, we need to operationalize our strategy and start collecting evidence on the impact of agile practices.

In our discussion-oriented workshop, we aim at eliciting as many impacts (effects) of single agile practices on different characteristics and even some sub-characteristics in different contexts. Furthermore, we are interested in eliciting contextual factors that render the introduction of single practices, i.e. success factors and fail conditions of introducing agile practices. This can only emerge from practitioners’ experiences. Therefore, by fostering cross-participant exchange of experience mainly from practice, we take the necessary next step in better understanding how exactly and under which conditions agility can contribute to software engineering practices.

Research questions. Our goal is refined into the following research questions (RQs): RQ1: What project and product characteristics can be generally influenced by single agile practices or small practice combinations? RQ2: How exactly do single agile practices or small practice combinations impact those characteristics? What is the reason for this impact? RQ3: How does the context (e.g. barriers) influence the realization of the desired improvements via single agile practices or their combinations?

"Small decisions made over times make big impacts."

Vishwas Chavan


Why to participate? (Benefits)

As practitioners as well as researcher, you can share your experiences (from practice, literature, presentations, discussions, etc.) on using specific practices and their recognized impacts. More important is even the learning and knowledge exchange with other practitioners and researchers.

How to participate? (Submissions)

We would be happy if you benefit from the option to submit a short abstract (max. 250 words) on your own experience / contribution and present it in a 5-minutes lighting talk. In this case, please inform us via mail as part of your statement to participate ( impact[at] ).

Download the Call for Contribution here.

"We don’t need more words. We need more ideas. "

Dan Roam


The workshop is intended to be designed as a forum to exchange ideas and experiences between practitioners (and also researcher) in a systematic manner. To structure the workshop, we will orient ourselves along a reference for the impact agile practices have – the Agile Practices Impact Model (APIM) [2]. This model structures and graphically represents the impact of agile practices on different characteristics as well as possible barriers and influences. As a by-product, this model will thereby be evaluated as well during the workshop.
Participants. The participants of the workshop are mainly practitioners (independent of the domain they are working in). Also academics can participate to contribute with existing evidence grounded on past or current studies (and literature) rather than their development experience.
Data collection. We decided to structure the workshop iteratively (schedule in Table 1 is sketched for 3 iterations), where each iteration is dedicated to a particular predefined set of common agile practices (we plan for ~10 practices per iteration). The whole workshop will be run according to the following tasks with iterations in Task 4 and 5 (See Table 1). Overall, we plan for interactive hands-on working sessions with an atmosphere that shall encourage lively discussions. After introductory panel sessions with a minimum of introductory presentations by the organizers, we will establish working groups on site moderated each by one organizer (Task 3-5).

  1. Introducting study goal & procedures
  2. Getting to know agile practices & characteristics
  3. Extending the list of provided characteristics
  4. Connecting agile practices with characteristics by eliciting experienced impacts
  5. Providing explanations / reasons and context on the given impacts
  6. Summarizing provided impacts

In case of the connection and explanation tasks (Task 4 and 5), different scenarios are foreseeable: If participants confirm the already mentioned impacts with the same information (reason/explanation and context), we provide a mechanism for this scenario by using confirmation marks (“sticking colored dots”). If they confirm an impact with differentiation information (either different reason, context or both), these are added to the impact (by a new post-it). In case the impact is different from the existing ones (other direction +/-), a new impact connection with annotations is added.
Dissemination of collected data. To foster knowledge exchange and to increase the visibility of the outcome and the contributors, we will present the results as one or more posters during the rest of the conference. This also supports conference attendees who could not participate accessing the workshop outcomes and provide them with the possibility to participate in the overall initiative in the long run.

Venue: Cologne, Germany


Contact Information


Philipp Diebold
+49 631 6800 2183

Support Us

If you are interested in the topic and would like to support us, do not hesitate to contact us and discuss about the topic. For any kind of support which you can assume, just contact us.
Examples for support could be: Industrial companies can act as financial or marketing sponsors. Individual persons can collaborate and work together in our community.

Created by Philipp Diebold - Copyright 2017