ADAPT: A Framework for Agile Distributed Software Development


AGILE DEVELOPMENT and distributed software development (DSD) seem like an impossible match. Agile processes are designed for collocated teams col- laborating closely, which appears incom- patible with DSD and its inherent coor- dination, control, and communication challenges.1 Nonetheless, 82 percent of respondents to VersionOne Inc.´s 10th Annual State of Agile survey, conducted in 2015, said they had at least some dis- tributed teams practicing agile develop- ment, a signi cant rise from only 35 per- cent just three years earlier.2 To gather evidence about the past and current state of research on teams us- ing both agile and distributed develop- ment, three of us conducted a systematic literature review of the topic covering 1999 to 2014. (For the review proto- col, see the Web extra at https://extras 0106s1.pdf.) We found an increasing in- terest in applying agile practices to DSD from 2004 in the form of anecdotal ex- perience reports and from 2010 in the form of evaluation papers, mainly case studies that indicated a switch to more rigorous research approaches. However, past research seldom fully reported contextual details, omitting information such as team size, thus limiting the results´ generalizability. In response, we created a checklist for fully reporting the empirical context of case studies on agile DSD, as well as general information about projects. (For the checklist, see the Web extra at 2016060106s2.pdf.) Also, although past research reported lessons learned in agile DSD, no one has created a comprehensive framework de- scribing how to apply agile practices to DSD to which both researchers and in- dustrial practitioners can relate. We launched our multiyear research project primarily to create such a framework- ADAPT (Agile Distributed Adaptable Process Toolkit).

IEEE Software, 33 (2016), 6; 106 - 111
Thomas Grechenig
Thomas Grechenig
Ao.Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.