Communication factors for speed and reuse in large-scale agile software development
Paper in proceedings, 2013
An open issue in industry is the combination of software reuse in the context of large scale Agile Software Development. The speed offered by Agile Software Development is needed for short time to market, while reuse strategies such as Software Product Line Engineering are needed for long-term productivity, efficiency, and profit. The paper investigates, through a survey, communication factors affecting both speed and reuse in 3 large companies developing embedded systems and employing Agile Software Development and Software Product Line Engineering. Our results include a prioritized list of communication related factors obtained by statistical analysis and the recognition and spread of the factors in the companies. We have recognized 5 interfaces with the Agile development team that need to be improved: system engineers (architects), product management, distributed teams, inter-project teams and sales unit. Few factors (involving inter-project communication) depend on the business drivers for the company. We also reveal that Agile teams need strategic and architectural inputs in order to be implanted in a large company employing Software Product Line Engineering. Academic and industrial training as well as different tactics for co-location would improve the communication skills of engineers. There is also a need for solutions, in the reference architecture, for fostering Agile Software Development: the goal is the combination of the focus on customer value of the teams, reusability, system requirements and avoidance of organizational dependencies.