The benefits and consequences of workarounds in software development projects

Jesse Yli-Huumo*, Andrey Maglyas, Kari Smolander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Workarounds have existed in software from the very beginning. Being a formalized collection of knowledge rather than a physical artifact, software allows shortcuts in its development process. The shortcuts serve various purposes, like releasing a product to the market faster or postponing the solution of a problem. In this article, we present the findings of an investigation of workarounds in two software companies. Our analysis reveals that the decisions to take a workaround to resolve a technical issue are often intentional and forced by time-to-market requirements. However, the stakeholders are not always familiar with the negative consequences of taking workarounds, like additional hours, costs, and poor quality. We argue that the decision to take a workaround is often made by business managers who see short-term benefits only while developers have to deal with negative consequences in long-term.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware Business - 6th International Conference, ICSOB 2015, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319195926
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Software Business - Braga, Portugal
Duration: 10 Jun 201512 Jun 2015
Conference number: 6

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
ISSN (Print)18651348


ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Business
Abbreviated titleICSOB


  • Case study
  • Software development project
  • Technical debt
  • Workarounds

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