Topic: Agile Testing in Large Scale Distributed Software Development
Company contacts: ABB
Within large scale organisations, traditional software development has been shown inadequate to preserve quality of software products while shortening time-to-market. In most cases, the time for quality control is postponed and usually reduced because of exceeded deadlines. Companies are in need of a new process that will value quality in each stage of their product development without interfering with the product delivery schedule. Hence, they are turning their interest to agile methodologies. The problem is that only a small number of proven cases of agile working in large scale distributed environment exist. They are specific to organisation content and their best practice cannot be easily implemented in other company contexts. Of course, at the same time, we can only assume the number of cases of agile not working in this type of organisations, without publicly available reports of their failure. One of the reasons to believe these failures exist could be that they are trying to use techniques and tools from traditional development processes that are not applicable within agile practices.
In order to help large scale organisations successfully utilise agile practices, we focus on defining appropriate techniques for product quality control that will not contradict agile ideology nor the agile manifesto. The goal of this research could be viewed from two dimensions:
Within the technology dimension, the goal is to find/propose appropriate testing techniques for distributed development of dependable systems using an agile methodology. By achieving this goal, testers will have suitable and defined techniques that will work within their company’s agile practice. From the social or process point of view, the goal is to define a new role for testers during organisational transition towards agile methodology. This role will enhance the stature of testers as well as enable the company to effectively deploy the testers in the new environment.
Main research question is: How to integrate software testing in large scale distributed agile environment? By doing decomposition of this question we are addressing next research issues:
Question A: What are the obstacles of doing efficient software testing in distributed agile development environment and how to overcome them?
Question B: How appropriate are traditional testing techniques in an agile environment?
Question C: What to do with testing departments or testing teams when an organization transit from a traditional to an agile development process?
Adnan Causevic, Iva Krasteva (Sofia University, Bulgaria), Rikard Land, A. S. M. Sajeev (University of New England, Australia), Daniel Sundmark, An Industrial Survey on Software Process Practices, Preferences and Methods, MRTC report ISSN 1404-3041 ISRN MDH-MRTC-233/2009-1-SE, Mälardalen Real-Time Research Centre, Mälardalen University, March, 2009