Mutual Development: A Case Study in Customer-Initiated Software Product Development

  • Renate Andersen
  • Anders I. Mørch
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5435)


The paper is a case study of customer-initiated software product development. We have observed and participated in system development activities in a commercial software house (company) over a period of two years. The company produces project-planning tools for the oil and gas industry, and relies on interaction with customers for further development of its products. Our main research question is how customers and professional developers engage in mutual development mediated by shared software tools (products and support systems). We have used interviews with developers and customers as our main source of data, and identified the activities (from use to development) where customers have contributed to development. We analyze our findings in terms of co-configuration, meta-design and modding in order to name and compare the various stages of development (adaptation, generalization, improvement request, specialization, and tailoring).


customer-initiated product development software development case study empirical analysis theoretical perspectives mutual development 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renate Andersen
    • 1
  • Anders I. Mørch
    • 1
  1. 1.InterMediaUniversity of Oslo, BlindernOsloNorway

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