Quality metrics in continuous delivery : A mixed approach
Abstract: Context. Continuous delivery deals with concept of deploying the user stories as soon as they are finished rather than waiting for the sprint to end. This concept increases the chances of early improvement to the software and provides the customer with a clear view of the final product that is expected from the software organization, but little research has been done on the quality of product developed and the ways to measure it. This research is conducted in the context of presenting a checklist of quality metrics that can be used by the practitioners to ensure good quality product delivery. Objectives. In this study, the authors strive towards the accomplishment of the following objectives: the first objective is to identify the quality metrics being used in agile approaches and continuous delivery by the organizations. The second objective is to evaluate the usefulness of the identified metrics, limitations of the metrics and identify new metrics. The final objective is to is to present and evaluate a solution i.e., checklist of metrics that can be used by practitioners to ensure quality of product developed using continuous delivery. Methods. To accomplish the objectives, the authors used mixture of approaches. First literature review was performed to identify the quality metrics being used in continuous delivery. Based on the data obtained from the literature review, the authors performed an online survey using a questionnaire posted over an online questionnaire hosting website. The online questionnaire was intended to find the usefulness of identified metrics, limitations of using metrics and also to identify new metrics based on the responses obtained for the online questionnaire. The authors conducted interviews and the interviews comprised of few close-ended questions and few open-ended questions which helped the authors to validate the usage of the metrics checklist. Results. Based on the LR performed at the start of the study, the authors obtained data regarding the background of continuous delivery, research performed over continuous delivery by various practitioners as well as a list of quality metrics used in continuous delivery. Later, the authors conducted an online survey using questionnaire that resulted in ranking the usefulness of quality metrics and identification of new metrics used in continuous delivery. Based on the data obtained from the online questionnaire, a checklist of quality metrics involved in continuous delivery was generated. Conclusions. Based on the interviews conducted to validate the checklist of metrics (generated as a result of the online questionnaire), the authors conclude that the checklist of metrics is fit for use in industry, but with some necessary changes made to the checklist based on the project requirements. The checklist will act as a reminder to the practitioners regarding the quality aspects that need to be measured during product development and maybe as a starting point while planning metrics that need to be measured during the project.
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