Scientific and technical work goals
On the basis of the solution idea, the following work goals were defined for the research project PQ4Agile:
- Description of Software Engineering Best Practices: Best-practice components of the software engineering disciplines Requirements Engineering, Software Architecture, and User Experience Engineering shall be developed that correspond to agile principles and can be used in agile development processes. Activity descriptions shall be prepared for the individual best practices, which shall describe the adaptations of the software engineering activities and support their execution.
- Integration Description: The integration description shall use the best-practice descriptions as a basis for explaining the integration of the single adapted activities with each other as well as their integration into existing development processes. In particular, dependencies between roles, activities, and artifacts shall be addressed.
- Tool Support: Adaptations shall be developed to serve as tool support for individual software engineering activities, for example in the form of plugins for existing applications.
- Empirical Data: Once best practices have been developed, they shall be evaluated in an industrial context together with their application in the development process in order to allow empirically founded statements about the effects on the quality of the resulting products. In addition, the ratio between costs and benefits shall be made quantifiable, and improvement possibilities shall be identified.
- Training Concept: In the context of the research project, a training concept shall be developed for the execution of agile development projects in accordance with the PQ4Agile method. This shall serve as a basis for seminars and lectures as well as for consulting projects, and as a reference in software development.
The research results achieved in this project shall be comprehensively utilized to benefit society at large. This means that they will also be available for SMEs outside the consortium, in particular, and can be used by these for their own development.
Relation of the project to the funding goals of the program KMU-innovativ
Small and medium-sized enterprises are one of the key drivers of the German economy, including the software industry, and are therefore the focus group of PQ4Agile. With the help of this research project, SMEs will be enabled to produce high-quality software products. Since product qualities such as user experience, performance, or safety and security are crucial factors for product success, the approach will increase the sales prospects of products made by German SMEs and will allow them to improve their position on the market. The creation of a USP based on the quality of software products is of particular significance in international competition since numerous companies are turning to offshore development, meaning that they are having their products developed in countries with lower wage levels.
Furthermore, the method will contribute to the successful performance of agile development projects, meeting scheduling and financial constraints. This will be possible considering different project factors, even in situations in which agile processes are not optimally suited so far. PQ4Agile will thus be able to make a major contribution to the success of an SME.
In addition, PQ4Agile will allow increasing efficiency and decreasing costs during the performance of a project and in the maintenance phases of the resulting projects. If product quality is considered holistically, the risk that quality problems are identified late is lower, and by dealing with such problems earlier, the goals can be achieved with less cost. The process support offered for software engineers will enable additional increases in efficiency.