Value and Waste in Software Engineering

in Special Issue   Posted on May 5, 2020 

Information for the Special Issue

Submission Deadline: Mon 30 Nov 2020
Journal Impact Factor : 2.726
Journal Name : Information and Software Technology
Journal Publisher:
Website for the Special Issue:
Journal & Submission Website:

Special Issue Call for Papers:


The main goal of software engineering is to build and maintain high quality software-intensive systems and services that provide value to their users and society as a whole. Furthermore, software engineering activities need to add as much value as possible to support developers in completing their tasks given time, cost and resource constraints. For example, developers may “value” tools that help them identify the best set of test cases, but may consider long planning meetings as a “waste” because they do not help them deliver a high-quality product. As in Lean development, any activity that is not considered to add value (to the customer but also developers) may be considered as waste and cause potential risks (e.g., frustrated customers and developers, project delays). However, explicit value and waste considerations have to a large extent been neglected in software engineering in the past. In particular, while cost, safety, availability, and security have received some attention, broader human values (and the notion of value beyond business, economic and technical value) such as compassion, social responsibility, and justice have been a side concern in software engineering. In addition, since software and software development are pervasive (e.g., any product these days is supported or enabled through software and changes to societies and communities are often driven by innovations through software), value aspects in software and its engineering are becoming even more essential. As a consequence, value is a much broader concept and can be looked at in terms of software product or service value, but is also associated with the artifacts, processes, practices and principles of software development and furthermore with development organizations themselves, its teams and even individuals. Also, as software engineers, we need to address broader human and societal values in addition to what the software development community typically values (automation, productivity, quality, low cost, etc.). An important and modern concept that embraces value and waste in software development is Technical Debt (TD). TD is a metaphor used to describe key trade-offs between time to market and some quality issues. Regarding value and waste, TD describes the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy but not optimal solution now (for short-term gains), instead of a better but perhaps more expensive and time-consuming solution (which would provide long-term benefits).


This Special Issue solicits papers on value and waste aspects in all areas of software engineering, including identifying, quantifying, reasoning about, representing value and waste, driving value and avoiding waste, and managing value and waste. All articles should consider the practical application of the idea, case studies, experiments, or systematic comparisons with other approaches already in practice. Furthermore, the Special Issue is interested in theoretical and/or extensive empirical validation of the claimed contributions. Papers should offer practical and reliable insights that have been derived from, or that can be applied to, real-world software-intensive systems. Types of articles the Special Issue would like to collect include:

  • articles presenting novel and strong contributions to managing value and waste, including state-of-the-art methods, models, and tools (with evidence of use and study of practical impact) or bridging the gap between practice and research,
  • empirical studies in the field, addressing one or many human, technical, social, and economic issues of managing value and waste through qualitative and/or quantitative analyses, and
  • industrial experiences, including good practices and lessons learned from managing value and waste in specific contexts or domains.

Specifically, the Special Issue considers papers on value and waste aspects in all areas of software engineering, for example:

  • Meaning of value and waste in software engineering
  • The notion of “value” beyond business value and economic value
  • Broader human and societal values (e.g., compassion, social responsibility, gender equality) and embedding human and societal values into software design and software development
  • Understanding causes of waste and drivers for value
  • Identification, characterization, and quantification of value and waste
  • Value-based requirements engineering, architecting, design and implementation, verification and validation, deployment, and maintenance and evolution
  • Human aspects of value-based software engineering
  • Value aspects in software teams and organizations
  • Value aspects in software process and quality models
  • Value and waste in highly incremental and iterative development (e.g., agile development, DevOps)
  • Economic models on software engineering aspects and to reason about value and waste
  • Data-driven approaches to adding value like experimentation and data-driven development
  • Relating technical debt to value and waste
  • Technical debt in development activities like analysis, design, implementation and testing
  • Technical debt for different types of systems like data-intensive systems, distributed systems, (ultra-) large-scale systems, mobile applications, or IoT systems
  • Organizational, social and other forms of debt
  • Theories on value aspects in software and systems engineering
  • Value-based thinking in software engineering education and training
  • Empirical studies, meta studies and replication studies on topics within the scope of the special issue


Manuscripts should be submitted through the EVISE system via following link:  When submitting the manuscript for this special issue, please select “SI: Value and Waste in Software Engineering” as the article type.

Tentative Timeline:

  • Submission deadline: November 30, 2020
  • Notification after first review round: February 28, 2021
  • Submission of revision deadline: April 30, 2021
  • Final notification after second review round: June 30, 2021
  • Revision and camera-ready submission: August 31, 2021

Guest Editors:

Michael Felderer – University of Innsbruck, AT, [email protected]

Matthias Galster – University of Canterbury, NZ, [email protected]

Clemente Izurieta – Montana State University, US, [email protected]

Carolyn Seaman – University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), US, [email protected]

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