On the Role of Agile Software Development Practices in Software Process Improvement

Kristjan Jürisoo
Software development in general is still a fairly new and evolving field. Software development companies have been looking for software process improvement (SPI) for years, but the field of SPI is a diverse one. The goal of the Master’s thesis at hand is to provide the big picture of the use of agile methodologies along with its practices in the context of SPI within the current literature. Furthermore, the paper at hand aims to provide more insight into the subset of agile practices of a bigger, more general systematic mapping study on the current state of the art of software process improvement. To find answers to the research questions stated in the thesis, systematic literature review was conducted. The results of the literature review were validated by conducting surveys amongst professionals in several Estonian software development companies with varying sizes. The publication rate of papers concerning agile practices in the context of SPI shows a steady rise over the years. Results of the literature review show that the field of agile practices in SPI is fairly evenly balanced regarding being a concept or being adapted and evaluated in the industry. Furthermore, the results indicate that the there are many papers published that are of high relevance to industry professionals. By far the most discussed agile methods in the literature regarding SPI are Scrum and Extreme Programming while the most addressed practices include integrating often, testing first and conducting daily meetings. Within the analysed papers there are plenty of evidence from the industry of using agile methods in SPI. The survey conducted amongst several Estonian companies confirms that the use of agile practices in SPI is a relevant topic and that Scrum being the most popular topic in the literature is not a coincidence.
Graduation Thesis language
Graduation Thesis type
Master - Software Engineering
Dietmar Pfahl
Defence year