Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Information

An Empirical Study of Agile Testing Attributes for Higher Customer Satisfaction in IT Projects in India

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Information

An Empirical Study of Agile Testing Attributes for Higher Customer Satisfaction in IT Projects in India

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Continuous dynamic changes in today's business environment pose a challenge to business entities in terms of their readiness and flexibility to adapt to such changes in order to maintain their competitive advantage. The information technology (IT) services sector is no exception. As the needs of their clients change, so do their requirements. Such circumstances demand innovative and flexible approaches to incorporate changes in a fast and reliable manner. A close look at the software industry reveals a transformation, especially in the case of client-centric projects, with regard to clear articulation of the new order of thinking and working [exemplified by dynamic approaches like Scrum and Extreme programming (XP)]. These new approaches are called "agile."

The rise of the "agile" era made "agile" a buzz word and opened the door for parallel and dynamic service development, maintenance, and support. Agile approaches can manage constantly changing needs and requirements because they lack the disadvantages of traditional linear methodologies such as the waterfall model. These disadvantages include prolonged time requirements, less flexibility, and concrete phased processes. Because agile approaches are supported by the principles of transparency, responsiveness, collaboration, and iteration, they are close to the hearts of managers and clients. Agile approaches are being implemented in both development and maintenance projects. Along with agile development, organizations have adopted agile testing, with its wider acceptance and adherence to time and quality. Agile testing highlights the practice of testing software products for bugs or performance issues within the context of an agile workflow. The agile approach in the software sector considers developers and testers as two sides of the same production coin, acting parallel and concurrently, rather than sequentially.

Compared with traditional approaches like the waterfall mode, the agile approach offers much less rigidity in terms of adhering to the requirements of documents and checklists, modifying documentation with in-person meetings, and replacing siloed functions with unified and self-organizing project teams. The agile approach induces the culture of enhanced interaction and a collaborative regime characterized by continuous internal dialogue among the stakeholders, leading to better communication, better responsiveness to ever-changing project requirements, better work relationships, and better and more efficient delivery.

Organizations are seeking to implement agile-oriented approaches to address several business issues, such as revenue, speed-to-market, superior quality, better visibility, smaller and incremental risk management, flexibility in meeting customer needs, frequent requests for requirements changes, superior cost control, better business engagement, and improved customer satisfaction. Active involvement, cooperation, and collaboration among project team members are necessary to implement such an agile environment in an organization. In today's business environment, the performance or success of a project can be measured in terms of the level of customer satisfaction. Hence, the primary objective of developing and testing agile approaches is to achieve customer satisfaction at higher levels.

A vast amount of literature discusses the concepts, different methods, and methodology of agile development in software projects, but the literature is very much limited in the case of agile testing. There are various characteristics or attributes for any agile approach, and most of them are oriented to achieve the primary objective of agile approach; that is, customer satisfaction. In the current study, we were highly motivated to conduct an in-depth analysis of agile testing attributes essential to achieve higher customer satisfaction in software projects. This paper examines five select attributes of agile testing that foster higher customer satisfaction in the development and maintenance of IT projects. …

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