The DSDM Consortium has announced the results of its first two research projects undertaken by its recently formed Agile Research Network.
The first two research projects by the network, which was established in April 2013, looked at communications issues, one among agile teams in the field of UX and software development and the other, in a large multinational, between teams using agile methodologies and those using non-agile methodologies.
Benefits for the participants include an external view of a knotty problem and a summary of academic and practitioner-based research in the topic area. The Network also provides white papers for agile practitioners and research papers that contribute to the agile academic literature.
Communication problems between user experience (UX) designers and software developers are nothing new, so the Agile Research Network team set out to explore the problem within a specific organisation. Working closely with the development team and the UX designer, the team explored factors such as 'what', 'how much' and 'when' to communicate, and made suggestions from academic literature, inviting the company to choose appropriate ones to implement.
In the second project, an agile team within a large multinational organisation was finding difficulties reporting effectively and demonstrating adequate control to another part of the organisation that used waterfall processes. To reach its conclusions, the Agile Research Network team turned to academic literature to examine different reporting approaches, experience reports on embedding agile into waterfall and wider organisational cultures, leading to a set of recommendations now in production.
The Agile Research Network research was undertaken by the Open University and University of Central Lancashire. The Network invites organisations to submit real-world, agile-related problems for investigation. The aim is to examine the causes of an issue, find alternative ways of working and make suggestions for the organisation to implement.
Commenting on both projects, Professor Helen Sharp, from the Open University, said: "We are very pleased and enthusiastic about working with the DSDM Consortium and its members. Engaging with issues from industry and feeding applicable research into practice in this way is extremely rewarding for us, and the feedback we have had so far indicates that it's beneficial for our collaborators too. Overall, a win-win situation."
DSDM Chairman, Steve Messenger, added: "At the DSDM Consortium we feel it is important that Agile keeps pushing the boundaries. That is why we were delighted to be able to help fund independent academic research. The first outcomes of the research look at User Experience - an area that is vital to success and key to Agile, and this white paper summarises the findings. We congratulate the team at the Agile Research Network and look forward to funding more research."