Supervised Master's theses

Marcus Jacobsson:
Implementing Traceability in Agile Software Development,
summary, report, January 2009.


The way traceability is handled in agile methods vary from organization to organization, and project to project. For some reason traceability is not a big part of agile software development. When talking to people that work with methods like Scrum and XP they consider tracing something big, heavy and especially not agile. Some believe that adding traceability will create unnecessary administrative overhead for the team. The team will then have to write documents that will be out of date and never read.

The main focus of the study was if traceability could be agile and therefore added to the agile processes. The other focuses where if traceability is needed in the agile methods or if the flexible requirement and development process reduces or even eliminated the need for tracing. The third and final focus on how to add tracing to the agile software development resulted in a list of practices as well as a few discussions on traceability.

So how can tracing be agile? One of the thoughts was with the use of tool support; tools can help reduce the administrative overhead of adding traceability to the project. If tracing is supposed to succeed in agile methods such as Scrum and XP, it needs to add some value to the project. Adding something that will only result in a cost in the end needs to be avoided.

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