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Quality in Agile Methods

Foreword by the Chair

Panagiotis Sfetsos (Alexander Technological Educational Institution, Greece)

Agile methodologies have gained increasing popularity in industry due to their ability to cope with unstable requirements throughout the development life cycle, improving communication between developers and customers, and delivering products in shorter time frames, when compared to traditional development methods. These iterative, incremental and adaptive methods, relying on a set of best practices that are considered to increase quality, completely redefine quality assurance work, from formal roles to day-to-day activities. The developers, following a set of best practices, such as planning game or sprint planning, test driven development (TDD), refactoring, pair programming, continuous integrations, customer collaboration, etc., create value and assure quality through all the development phases, from requirements to the final release. 

The emergence of agile methodologies seems to be the answer to the drastic degree of change in the modern business and IT environments. Many empirical studies support and evangelize the advantages of agile methods and their practices with respect to quality and some of them will be presented in this thematic track. 

The first paper “Estrangement Between Classes: Test Coverage-based Assessment of Coupling Strength Between Pairs of Classes”, by George Kakarontzas et al., discusses a new metric, Estrangement Between Classes (EBC), that is derived by executing tests. This metric is based on the statement coverage of tests and provides assessment of the strength of associations among classes. The proposed metric can be used in the context of agile methods of software development during refactorings. 

The second paper “A Reference Model for Agile Quality Assurance: Combining Agile Methodologies and Maturity Models”, by Fernando Selleri Silva et al., presents AgileQA-RM, an Agile Quality Assurance Reference Model to help organizations in QA implementation. 

The third paper “A comparative study on the effectiveness of patterns in software libraries and standalone applications”, by Panagiotis Sfetsos et al., presents the results of a case study on software libraries and standalone applications concerning the impact of design patterns in the quality attributes at system level. 

In summary, the papers in this track cover many different aspects and approaches on quality in agile methods. The findings of these studies are expected to help developers, managers and researchers, in the field of agile methods, to better understand how to approach quality issues when implementing the agile methods and their practices.

Dr. Panagiotis Sfetsos is currently an Associate Professor with the Information Management and Software Engineering (IMSE) Research Lab of the Department of Information Technology at the Alexander Technological Educational Institution of Thessaloniki, Greece. Additionally, he is a research partner of Software Engineering Group Plase laboratory, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He received his B.Sc. in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Uppsala, Sweden (1981) and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2007). He is co-editor of the book “Agile Software Development Quality Assurance”, IGI Global 2007, author of many scientific papers and a frequent speaker and tutor in the field of Agile Methods and Open Source Software. 

Track Committee:

ChairPanagiotis SfetsosAlexander Technological Educational Institution, Thessaloniki, Greece

Local Co-Organizing ChairPedro Abreu Ribeiro, UMinho, Portugal

Program Committee

    • Atif Memon, University of Maryland, USA
    • Sasikumar Punnekkar, Malardalen University, Sweden
    • Apostolos Ampatzoglou, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
    • Alexandros Chatzigeorgiou, University of Macedonia, Greece
    • João M. Fernandes, University of Minho, Portugal
    • George Kakarontzas, Technological Educational Inst., Greece
    • Jouni Markkula, University of Oulu, Finland
    • Kerstin Siakas, ATEI of Thessaloniki, Greece
    • Ioannis Stamelos, Aristotle University, Greece

    Call for Papers

    Agile methods have gained popularity due to their ability to cope with unstable requirements throughout the development life cycle, improving communication between developers and customers, and delivering products in shorter time frames, with more constrained budgets, when compared to traditional development methods. However, the real impact of agility in quality is a controversial topic. Although agility has earned support from many researchers and practitioners, the evidence provided by those supporters to back up their claims has yet to convince agility skeptics. The ICT systems community would benefit from compelling evidence with respect to the contexts in which agility is a good option (and those where a more traditional approach is more advisable), and to the effects of agility in software quality. We seek contributions on the impact of agility in the quality of ICT systems.

    Suggested topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:
    • Evidence, and “reports from the trenches” concerning the Agile Manifesto and its impact on ICT systems quality
    • Agile versus Traditional Quality Management
    • Evaluation of the Quality Assurance Activities and Practices in the context of agile methods
    • Agility in the context of long-lived ICT systems (with developers turnover, …)
    • Empirical evaluation on evidence concerning the effect of agility in quality
    • Quality metrics for Agile Project Management
    • Agile Web Development
    • Gaps in Agile Software Quality Assurance activities
    • Agile Quality Trends and Agile Quality Improvements
    • Agile Web

    Paper submission

    Authors should submit to a PDF version of their paper. Papers must be in CPS format and not exceed 6 pages, including figures, references, and appendices. Submissions must be original and will be reviewed by the Track Program Committee. Accepted papers will be be submitted for archiving in Xplore and CSDLsubject to one of the authors registering for the conference. The authors of the 3 best papers of this thematic track will be invited to submit extended versions to the main track of the conference. More info on the QUATIC’2014 selection process and its tracks can be found at

    Important dates

    Abstract submission: April 21, 2014 (optional)
    Paper submission: April 28, 2014
    Authors’ notification: May 26, 2014
    Registration and Camera-ready: July 10, 2014 (extended to July 21, 2014)