The benefits and consequences of workarounds in software development projects

Workarounds have been with software from the beginning. Being a formalized collection of knowledge rather than a physical artifact, software allows shortcuts in its development process. They serve various purposes like releasing the product to the market faster or postponing the solution of a problem. In this article, we present our findings from the use of visualizations in software process improvement and building software analytics systems The first one is a middle-sized software company with two separate product lines. The second one is a large telecommunication company conducting a software project with subcontractors.

Our analysis reveals that decisions to take a workaround to resolve a technical issue are intentional and forced by time-to-market requirements. However, stakeholders are not always familiar with the negative consequences of taking workarounds like additional work hours, costs, and poor quality. We argue that companies are ready to deal with these negative consequences because customers are more tolerant to the quality of software than to the time when software is available.

Jesse Yli-Huumo, Andrey Maglyas, Kari Smolander (Lappeenranta University of Technology):  The benefits and consequences of workarounds in software development projects

Submitted 13.10.2014, 6th International Conference, ICSOB 2015, Braga, Portugal, June 10-12, 2015, Proceedings