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Measurements in the Early Stage Software Start-ups: A Multiple Case Study in a Nascent Ecosystem

Journal article
Authors G. Kamulegeya
R. Mugwanya
Regina Hebig
Published in Foundations of Computing and Decision Sciences
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 251-280
ISSN 0867-6356
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Computer Science and Engineering (GU)
Institutionen för data- och informationsteknik, Software Engineering (GU)
Pages 251-280
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1515/fcds-2018-0014
Keywords Software start-up, measurement, nascent ecosystem, lean start-up, companies, Computer Science
Subject categories Computer and Information Science

Abstract

Context: Software measurement is crucial to stay competitive and deliver quality software products. Problem: While much research has been done on measurement in large companies in developed countries, there is limited research on measurement in start-ups. So far there are no studies on whether these results apply to nascent ecosystems, such as those in East Africa. Goal: The aim of this study is to understand the use and perceived benefits of measurement in software start-ups in East Africa. Method: We performed a multi-case study on 19 software start-ups in hubs in Uganda and Kenya, through conducting semi-structured interviews. We transcribed and analyzed them using the content analysis technique. Results: We identified that start-ups are using a number of business and product-oriented metrics. Furthermore, we found no evidence on the use of design-oriented metrics. Nonetheless, start-ups have considerable expectations on the benefits of measuring. Finally, metrics found in this study partially differ from metrics used in start-ups in developed countries. Conclusion: There is a need to create a more inclusive characterization for measurement as early start-ups in East Africa cannot yet be represented with known models.

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