About half of agile software developers believe the results of their sprints are not being tested thoroughly enough, while only 25% of development managers see this as an issue.

“I might have thought developers would say, ‘We’ve done enough testing,’ and the managers would be saying, ‘Hey, what are you guys doing?’ ” said Miguel Tam, senior product marketing manager at Serena Software, which conducted the survey among attendees at this summer’s Agile 2012 conference. Approximately 100 people responded to the survey, the results of which were released on Oct. 2.

The survey sought to determine if organizations are satisfied with their agile projects (52% were), how the adoption of agile development is going (49% said most groups in their organizations were doing it), and if they are doing continuous delivery of software as the respondents define it (55% were).

Meanwhile, when asked about their biggest challenge in doing agile development, more than half replied that understanding and prioritizing customer demand is toughest.

“Communication across and outside the development team is among the biggest challenges developers face,” Tam said. This was highlighted in a question about release plans, for which IT operations and support said they were involved less than 40% of the time.

Tam noted another interesting finding in that organizations are not increasing the pace of their iterations even as they gain more expertise, comfort and benefit from agile development. “People seem to have found a good rhythm,” he said. “Two-week timeframes seem to work for them. It’s not an overwhelming pace for upstream and downstream stakeholders” either, he added. Even at that pace, though, the business side reported that it only has visibility into releases 45% of the time.

“I think what this shows is that agile is working to make customers happy,” Tam said. “Communication seems to be the thing that’s holding people back from making agile even more successful.”

About David Rubinstein

David Rubinstein is editor-in-chief of SD Times.