Department of Management

Meshing agile and plan-driven development in safety-critical software: a case study

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Organizations developing safety-critical software are increasingly seeking to create better practices by meshing agile and plan-driven development processes. Significant differences between the agile and the plan-driven processes make meshing difficult, and very little empirical evidence on using agile processes for safety-critical software development exists. There are four areas of concern, in particular, for meshing the development of safety-critical software concerning: documentation, requirements, life cycle and testing. We report on a case study of a pharmaceutical organization in which a Scrum process was implemented to support agile software development in a plan-driven safety-critical project. The purpose was to answer the following research question: For safety-critical software, what can a software team do to mesh agile and plan-driven processes effectively? The main contribution of the paper is an elaborated understanding of meshing in the four areas of concern and how the conditions for safety-critical software influence them. We discuss how meshing within the four areas of concern is a contribution to existing research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEmpirical Software Engineering
Pages (from-to)1035-1062
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • Agile software development, FDA, Plan-driven software development, Process, Safety-critical software meshing compliance scrum

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