Program Seeks to Measure Agile Effectiveness

Rally Software is teaming with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University to form a research program to formally measure the effectiveness of Agile practices in software development, the company announced earlier this week.

The Software Development Performance Index (SDPI) will "quantify valuable insights about development work and provide feedback on how process and technology decisions impact development team performance," said Rally, known for its cloud-based software-as-a-service platform for Agile development.

An SEI spokesman said the institute had been conducting its own research about the effectiveness of Agile practices. "When we learned that Rally had already made good progress toward measuring and analyzing software development practices in relation to cost, schedule, and quality impact, it became obvious that we would both benefit by collaborating," said Dave Zubrow, manager of Software Engineering Measurement and Analysis at the SEI.

Rally said its work with many of the top software-driven companies around the world will help prove or disprove common assumptions about software development on a large scale. "For instance, the Agile community has long advocated for dedicated, co-located teams consisting of between five and nine members," Rally said. "Research results, for example, will quantify to what degree productivity, responsiveness, predictability, and quality are impacted by wholly or partially following these recommendations."

The company is inviting interested organizations to come onboard with co-creation of the SDPI and research collaboration to help quantify such insights. "Participating customers gain immediate access to enhancements resulting from the research program, including dashboards, balanced scorecards, and benchmarking capabilities," Rally said. "Non-participating customers’ data will be aggregated anonymously."

The SDPI will reportedly aggregate metrics in the areas of productivity, predictability, employee engagement, responsiveness, quality and customer satisfaction.

Rally said organizations interested in participating should contact their company representatives or e-mail the company.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.