Structuring Software Engineering Case Studies to Cover Multiple Perspectives
Case studies are used in software engineering (SE)
research for detailed study of phenomena in their real-world
context. There are guidelines listing important factors to consider
when designing case studies, but there is a lack of advice on how
to structure the collected information and ensure its breadth.
Without considering multiple perspectives, such as business and
organization, there is a risk that too few perspectives are covered.
The objective of this paper is to develop a framework to give
structure and ensure breadth of a SE case study.
For an analysis of the verification and validation practices
of a Swedish software company we developed an analytical
framework based on two dimensions. The matrix spanned by
the dimensions (perspective and time) helped structure data
collection and connect different findings. A six-step process was
defined to adapt and execute the framework at the company and
we exemplify its use and describe its perceived advantages and
The framework simplified the analysis and gave a broader
understanding of the studied practices but there is a tradeoff
with the depth of the results, making the framework more
suitable for explorative, open-ended studies.
author = "Emil Börjesson and Robert Feldt",
title = "Automated System Testing using Visual GUI Testing Tools: A Comparative Study in Industr",
year = "2011",