Stefan Saarnak; Björn Gustafsson MSE-2003:12, pp. 60. Inst. för programvaruteknik och datavetenskap/Dept. of Software Engineering and Computer Science, 2003.
In the software industry a number of different software processes has been used throughout the years to address known problems with software development, despite their intention complains has been raised that some of these are too bureaucratic. The Agile Alliance was formed in 2001 and aimed to solve this problem, they developed a manifesto and twelve principles which are supported by all Agile software processes. The purpose with the manifesto and its principles is to uncover better ways of developing software and these are by many intercessors of Agile seen as common sense and not completely new ideas.
The aim with this master thesis is to answer the question if companies that explicitly claim that they do not use any Agile software process are already applying some of these ideas since they are thought of as obvious and common sense. The comparison in this thesis is performed between the project lifecycles used in specific projects by five non-Agile software companies and four identified lifecycle characteristics and two more general characteristics of the Agile software processes Extreme Programming (XP) and Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM). The result from the analysis of these interviews has shown that it is very difficult to decide if a software company really is working as described by XP or DSDM, this is due to that many different factors affect the final outcome. For example type of project and is the software company using different software processes for different kinds of projects. Since we just covered specific projects we were only able to conclude with absolute certainty actions that really were performed in just these projects. The project lifecycles of these software companies had some similarities with the above mentioned Agile software processes, but as a whole the analysis showed that they are quite different due to that two very important characteristics according to us, namely iterative development and frequent releases, were not applied by any of the software companies and that their project phases differed tremendously compared to XP and DSDM. Our common sense hypothesis for Agile software development was shown in this investigation to be incorrect since important activities were not performed by any of the software companies. Instead of using an iterative approach with frequent releases they all followed sequential waterfall like software processes.