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Developing an open source software development process model using grounded theory

Yuhong Tian, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Open source software is becoming increasingly popular. Since its inception, the open source movement has provided software users with more choices, lower software acquisition cost, flexible software customization, and some highly popular software products. The success of open source can be partly attributed to the unique development process of OSS (O&barbelow;pen S&barbelow;ource S&barbelow;oftware), which is termed the "bazaar" model of software development. This internet-based model of massive, parallel software development is very dynamic and encourages innovations. However, the dynamic nature is a double-edged sword. It inevitably leads to semi chaotic OSSD (O&barbelow;pen S&barbelow;ource S&barbelow;oftware D&barbelow;evelopment) project management. This situation has a direct and significant impact on the success of OSSD projects as they grow bigger (Krawitz, 2000). A comprehensive process model that can guide the OSSD development and project management is urgently needed. ^ Research has shown that the application of a formal software development methodology can increase software project success (Johnson et al., 2001). A software process model defines the activities performed during the development of a software product or system. It incorporates the best practices, and therefore, can help improve the quality and success of OSSD. ^ The unique characteristics of OSSD make its development process different from that of traditional software development, or CSSD (C&barbelow;losed S&barbelow;ource S&barbelow;oftware D&barbelow;evelopment). Consequently, the process models of CSSD such as UP (U&barbelow;nified P&barbelow;rocess) and XP (eX&barbelow;treme P&barbelow;rogramming) cannot be readily applied to or tailored to OSSD. Research on the OSSD process is scanty at best, and there is little literature on the area. ^ To fill this gap, this research uses grounded theory to study the practice of four OSSD projects. It identifies the prominent factors in OSSD and constructs a P&barbelow;hase-R&barbelow;ole-S&barbelow;kill-R&barbelow;esponsibilities (PRSR) process model that encompasses the lifecycles and key issues of OSSD. This process model for OSSD incorporates the best practice of OSSD project management. It serves as a guideline to open source software development practice while preserving the dynamics of OSSD. This qualitative research contributes to the software development literature as well as to open source practice. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management|Information Science

Recommended Citation

Tian, Yuhong, "Developing an open source software development process model using grounded theory" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3216341.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3216341

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