Scaling Agile in Regulated Environments, Presentation at ICSE, 2013

Scaling Agile in Regulated Environments, Presentation at ICSE, May 2013


Agile development methods are growing in popularity

with a recent survey reporting that more than 80% of

organizations now following an agile approach. Agile methods

were seen initially as best suited to small, co-located teams

developing non-critical systems. The first two constraining characteristics

(small and co-located teams) have been addressed

as research has emerged describing successful agile adoption

involving large teams and distributed contexts. However, the

applicability of agile methods for developing safety-critical systems

in regulated environments has not yet been demonstrated

unequivocally, and very little rigorous research exists in this area.

Some of the essential characteristics of agile approaches appear

to be incompatible with the constraints imposed by regulated

environments. In this study we identify these tension points and

illustrate through a detailed case study how an agile approach

was implemented successfully in a regulated environment. Among

the interesting concepts to emerge from the research are the

notions of R-Scrum (Regulated Scrum), continuous compliance and living traceability.