Incremental method evolution in global software product management: A retrospective case study

Inge Van De Weerd*, Sjaak Brinkkemper, Johan Versendaal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Company growth in a global setting causes challenges in the adaptation and maintenance of an organization's methods. In this paper, we will analyze incremental method evolution in software product management in a global environment. We validate a method increment approach, based on method engineering principles, by applying it to a retrospective case study conducted at a large ERP vendor. The results show that the method increment types cover all increments that were found in the case study. Also, we identified the following lessons learned for company growth in a global software product management context: method increment drivers, such as the change of business strategy, vary during evolution; a shared infrastructure is critical for rollout; small increments facilitate gradual process improvement; and global involvement is critical. We then claim that method increments enable software companies to accommodate evolutionary adaptations of development process in agreement with the overall company expansion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-732
Number of pages13
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Distributed development
  • Incremental method evolution
  • Meta-modeling
  • Method engineering
  • Requirements management
  • Software product management


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