Partially due to increasing requirements uncertainty, flexibility has been in the focus of many software development activities for many years. Only few studies have analyzed the indirect effect that different levels of requirements uncertainty have on the effects of established flexible development techniques. This study analyzes how requirements uncertainty moderates the well studied effects of (1) sequential development, (2) investment in architectural design, and (3) intensity of early feedback on the performance of contract development projects. It finds that requirements uncertainty negatively moderates the effects of sequential development. It also points out that requirements uncertainty negatively moderates the effect of investment in architectural design. For agile development approaches, the value of investment in architectural design falls with increasing uncertainty. However, for plan-driven approaches, investment in architectural design is positive at any level of requirements uncertainty. Finally, the paper finds that early feedback throughout the development process is helpful at any level of requirements uncertainty.
Mellis, Werner; Loebbecke, Claudia; and Baskerville, Richard, "Moderating Effects of Requirements Uncertainty on Flexible Software Development Techniques" (2010). International Research Workshop on IT Project Management 2010. 6.