We observe that systems developers who have had experience with agile development projects often express their opinion that agile methodologies are superior to plan-driven methodologies. In order to collect empirical evidence to support or discount this belief, we conducted a survey among software developers about software quality and development practices. Our study identified eight quality goals from the software quality literature. We then asked the participants to identify which of eight practices contributes the most towards that quality goal. Half of the practices were agile practices; half were plandriven practices. We found that, for each and every quality goal, the participants as a whole chose one of the agile practices as a best practice enabling them to reach each quality goal. While this study does not conclude that agile methods are always the best approach, it does reveal that agile practices are being noticed and appreciated by many system developers.
Kong, Sue; Kendall, Julie E.; and Kendall, Kenneth E., "The Challenge of Improving Software Quality: Developers' Beliefs about the Contribution of Agile Practices" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 148.