How to Best Integrate Agile Software Development Methods (XP and Scrum) By Introducing Usability Practices and Methods
Dissertation Topic: Agile Software. This dissertation aims to investigate how end user involvement can be made possible without disrupting the agile process using ground theory and practical approaches. It will attempt to integrate light-weight usability methods incorporated into the agile processes. It will also describe the key question as to how usability legit-weight methods could be integrated in agile process in order to create efficient and effective usable software in a short span of time.
This dissertation proposes an integrated process model that will ultimately integrate Light-Weight Usability methods In Agile Software Development Processes, light-weight methods (Use case technique, Personas, low-fidelity prototyping and Guerilla testing) in agile different iterations. This would assist the design and development team to produce enhanced product that are aimed at increasing customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing the risk of incurring additional costs due to ‘redesigns’.
To provide a clearer perspective on the direction of the research questions, the entire research will focus on agile software development or to some extent, at least compatible with agile development methods using SCRUM as a referral point due to the fact that Scrum is both the most widely used agile methodology as well as the system that is applied by the subject company. The researcher has formulated the research questions in a manner that would not only benefit the company in the case study but as well as for other companies that are similar. The proposed research questions are as follows:
- How to analyze the end user requirements in agile software development processes?
- How product evaluation with end users might be made possible in agile short iterations?
The research questions are based on the fact that although many software development companies have adopted the agile methodologies over the last decade for a variety of reasons, improving usability is rarely among these reasons. When the ratio of usability increases in importance, software developers with limited knowledge of usability or interactive interface designs are irresolute over making the new priority attuned with their development process principally due to the fact that the agile literature provides little direction. This research hopes to provide answers towards managing this scenario effectively and efficiently.
Dissertation Aims and Objectives
- To develop a greater understanding about agile software development processes, and to critically evaluate the existing literature to highlight its vital elements, focusing in particular on end-user requirements in context of usability.
- To provide a mechanism for product evaluation by end users in agile processes, which comprise of short iterations?
- To analyze the precedence, if any, of integrating usability with agile methods and provide a feasible framework to this hybrid approach.
- To highlight the benefits of integrating usability techniques with agile methods; and to offer guide-lines that facilitate software development companies that are using agile development processes.
- To incorporate the findings of this research, to the subject company “Easysport” and provide conclusive evidence as well recommendations, which benefits the organization in terms of efficiency and productivity.