User Integration in Agile Software Development Processes: Practices and Challenges in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

  • Oliver StickelEmail author
  • Corinna Ogonowski
  • Timo Jakobi
  • Gunnar Stevens
  • Volkmar Pipek
  • Volker Wulf
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


HCI and CSCW research as well as practice has strongly indicated the value of integrating (end) users in software development processes. Such integration can help address actual needs and wants, to avoid undesirable developments and to strengthen the User Experience of a product. A user-focused approach to software development has some conceptual overlap with agile software development practices, such as quick and iterative (user) testing. However, out in the wild, organisations seem to have difficulties actually mapping user-centered development with agile processes for a variety of reasons ranging from organisational or hierarchical aspects up to financial issues. This problem seems specially prevalent in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) where such constraints can be even tighter than in larger organisations. To help understand those problems and to identify possible solutions, we turned to three quite different German software SMEs, varying in size, market focus and organisational structure. By way of qualitative field studies, we were able to identify key roles and tools as well as methodological, organisational and analytical practices and challenges in integrating (end) users into agile software development.


Agile software development User centered design User feedback Case study Qualitative study 



We thank all employees of three SMEs who participated in this study. This contribution has been funded by the German BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) though the projects CUBES (FKZ: 01MU14001A) and SmartLive (FKZ: 01MU12026A).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Stickel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Corinna Ogonowski
    • 1
  • Timo Jakobi
    • 1
  • Gunnar Stevens
    • 2
  • Volkmar Pipek
    • 1
  • Volker Wulf
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SiegenSiegenGermany
  2. 2.Bonn Rhein-Sieg University of Applied SciencesAugustinGermany

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