Using an ontology for systematic practice adoption in agile methods: Expert system and practitioners-based validation

Soreangsey Kiv*, Samedi Heng, Yves Wautelet, Stephan Poelmans, Manuel Kolp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


As many software development teams have started to adopt agile methods, a vast amount of valuable experiences have been reported on in both academic and industrial knowledge bases. This information has been used through various approaches to guide and help practitioners finding suitable practices for their software development projects. Nevertheless, not many of these approaches could gather the available experiences to make them systematically reusable and help practitioners understanding agile practices in depth. To the best of our knowledge, only one ontology has been created to solve this problem; some limitations related to its quality and usability make it nevertheless unqualified to serve the intended purpose. The aim of this paper is to build an expert system (i.e. an evidence-based tool) to ease agile practices adoption by efficiently and effectively providing information on them. Firstly, we improve the concepts and relationships in the aforementioned ontology and theoretically validate it using a large data-set of agile practices adoption experiences collected through a Systematic Literature Review (SLR). Secondly, we develop a supporting tool having a friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) allowing to use the ontology as a concrete agile practice knowledge provider. Finally, we empirically validate the enhanced ontology and evaluate the supporting tool using a survey with agile experts. Our supporting tool can help practitioners to decide what practice to adopt, how to adopt it, how to solve practical issues, etc. The ontology and the tool materialize our contribution to the field of systematic agile practices adoption.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116520
Number of pages18
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Agile practice
  • Ontology
  • Knowledge representation
  • Real case study
  • Systematic literature review
  • Survey


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