Can FOSS projects benefit from integrating Kanban: a case study

Annemarie Harzl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Agile Software Development (ASD) have both been recognized as important software development methods; they have many success stories and share some similarities. However, there is a lack of research regarding the comprehensive integration of the two. This work presents a single case of a hybrid student FOSS project where ASD and FOSS were combined and reports if this combination benefits the contributors. We conducted Action Research (AR) with one sub-team of a large hybrid student FOSS project, and performed three AR cycles based on the Kanban method. The Kanban practices visualize the workflow, make policies explicit and implement feedback loops were examined during the AR cycles. They are discussed in detail in this paper, which has two main contributions: first, it describes a real world situation, where Kanban is applied to a hybrid student FOSS project, and second, it determines that the combination is experienced as beneficial by contributors. Study participants report a positive effect on communication with other teams and stakeholders due to the use of the Kanban and regard their time acquiring knowledge about Kanban practices as well spent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Internet Services and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2017

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