Measurements in the Early Stage Software Start-ups: A Multiple Case Study in a Nascent Ecosystem

Grace Kamulegeya 1 , Raymond Mugwanya 2 ,  and Regina Hebig 3
  • 1 College of Computing, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  • 2 College of Computing, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  • 3 Chalmers—Gothenburg University, , Gothenburg, Sweden


Context: Software measurement is crucial to stay competitive and deliver quality software products.

Problem: While much research has been done on measurement in large companies in developed countries, there is limited research on measurement in start-ups. So far there are no studies on whether these results apply to nascent ecosystems, such as those in East Africa.

Goal: The aim of this study is to understand the use and perceived benefits of measurement in software start-ups in East Africa.

Method: We performed a multi-case study on 19 software start-ups in hubs in Uganda and Kenya, through conducting semi-structured interviews. We transcribed and analyzed them using the content analysis technique.

Results: We identified that start-ups are using a number of business and product-oriented metrics. Furthermore, we found no evidence on the use of design-oriented metrics. Nonetheless, start-ups have considerable expectations on the benefits of measuring. Finally, metrics found in this study partially differ from metrics used in start-ups in developed countries.

Conclusion: There is a need to create a more inclusive characterization for measurement as early start-ups in East Africa cannot yet be represented with known models.

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