Variability management challenges in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

Tuomas Ihme, Päivi Parviainen, Susanna Teppola


Variability has become important means to provide customer specific products fast to the market. This paper presents findings from a literature study and questionnaire designed to find out the current variability management practices, challenges and needs in small and medium sized companies (SMEs). The literature study was carried out first, and based on its findings questionnaire study was designed and carried out. Transparency of variability and design decisions between R and D and business and customer interfaces and transparency of variability and design decisions within R and D were the most important and challenging variability areas in the studied organisations. The most frequently used architecture design issue was the use of known architectural styles and patterns to handle variability. The findings of the most challenging and important variability management topics, as well as the important improvement goals can be used to direct future research, and efforts to support companies in variability management.


Variability; variability management; software engineering; challenges

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