Project archetypes: A blessing and a curse for AI development

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Copenhagen, Denmark (2022)



<p>Software projects rely on what we propose to call project archetypes, i.e., pre-existing mental images of how projects work. They guide distribution of responsibilities, planning, or expectations. However, with the technological progress, project archetypes may become outdated, ineffective, or counterproductive by impeding more adequate approaches. Understanding archetypes of software development projects is core to leverage their potential. The development of applications using machine learning and artificial intelligence provides a context in which existing archetypes might outdate and need to be questioned, adapted, or replaced. We analyzed 36 interviews from 21 projects between IBM Watson and client companies and identified four project archetypes members initially used to understand the projects. We then derive a new project archetype, cognitive computing project, from the interviews. It can inform future development projects based on AI-development platforms. Project leaders should pro-actively manage project archetypes while researchers should investigate what guides initial understandings of software projects.</p>

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