Scrum versus Rational Unified Process in facing the main challenges of product configuration systems development

Sara Shafiee, Yves Wautelet*, Lars Hvam, Enrico Sandrin, Cipriano Forza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Product configuration systems (PCSs) are software applications that enable companies to customise configurable products by facilitating the automation of sales and engineering. Widely used in various industries, PCSs can bring substantial benefits and constitute a fundamental tool for mass customisation. However, serious challenges in PCS development have been reported. Software engineering approaches, such as the rational unified process (RUP) and Scrum, have been adopted to realise high-quality PCSs, but research insights on their use in PCS development are very limited, and their different capabilities to address PCS challenges are almost totally unexplored. This article illustrates the application of RUP and Scrum in PCS development and compares their contributions to addressing PCS development challenges. To perform this comparison, four PCS projects in a company that moved from RUP to Scrum are analysed. The evidence provided suggests that moving from RUP to Scrum has a positive effect in facing organisational,​ IT-related and resource constraint challenges. The results also highlight worsening knowledge management and documentation, product modelling and visualisation. The findings suggest the adaptation of Scrum for PCS development to reinforce Scrum’s knowledge-related capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110732
JournalThe Journal of Systems and Software
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Product configuration systems (PCSs)
  • Agile
  • Scrum
  • Rational unified process (RUP)


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