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Bridging the gap between research and agile practice: an evolutionary model


There is wide acceptance in the software engineering field that industry and research can gain significantly from each other and there have been several initiatives to encourage collaboration between the two. However there are some often-quoted challenges in this kind of collaboration. For example, that the timescales of research and practice are incompatible, that research is not seen as relevant for practice, and that research demands a different kind of rigour than practice supports. These are complex challenges that are not always easy to overcome. Since the beginning of 2013 we have been using an approach designed to address some of these challenges and to bridge the gap between research and practice, specifically in the agile software development arena. So far we have collaborated successfully with three partners and have investigated three practitioner-driven challenges with agile. The model of collaboration that we adopted has evolved with the lessons learned in the first two collaborations and been modified for the third. In this paper we introduce the collaboration model, discuss how it addresses the collaboration challenges between research and practice and how it has evolved, and describe the lessons learned from our experience.

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We would like to thank our collaborators and the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) consortium.

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Correspondence to Leonor Barroca.

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Barroca, L., Sharp, H., Salah, D. et al. Bridging the gap between research and agile practice: an evolutionary model. Int J Syst Assur Eng Manag 9, 323–334 (2018).

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  • Agile software development
  • Action research
  • Collaboration model