Volume 4(2), 2008-11, 186—208

Team-client relationships and extreme programming

John Karn
Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
UK

Joseph J. Ninan
Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
UK

Marian Gheorghe
Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
UK

This paper describes a study that examined the relationship between software engineering teams who adhered to the extreme programming (XP) methodology and their project clients. The study involved observing teams working on projects for clients who had commissioned a piece of software to be used in the real world. Interviews were conducted during and at the end of the project to get client opinion on how the project had progressed. Of interest to the researchers were opinions on frequency of feedback, how the team captured requirements, whether or not the iterative approach of XP proved to be helpful, and the level of contextual and software engineering knowledge the client had at the start of the project. In theory, fidelity to XP should result in enhanced communication, reduce expectation gaps, and lead to greater client satisfaction. Our results suggest that this depends heavily on the communication skills of the team and of the client, the expectations of the client, and the nature of the project.

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