The Effect of Complexity and Value on Architecture Planning in Agile Software Development

  • Michael Waterman
  • James Noble
  • George Allan
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 149)


A key feature of agile software development is its prioritisation of responding to changing requirements over planning ahead. If an agile development team spends too much time planning and designing architecture then responding to change will be extremely costly, while not doing enough architectural design puts the project at risk of failure. Striking the balance depends heavily on the context of the system being built, the environment and the development teams. This Grounded Theory research into how much architecture agile teams design up-front has identified system complexity as an important factor in determining how much planning a team does up-front, while system size, although related to complexity, has a much less direct impact. Furthermore, when determining how much design to do up-front, value to the customer can be a more important factor than overall development cost. Understanding these factors can help agile teams to determine how much up-front planning is appropriate for the systems they develop.


Software architecture agile software development Grounded Theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Waterman
    • 1
  • James Noble
    • 1
  • George Allan
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand

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