Highlights of Gartner Report on Ensuring Software Quality from External Agile Software Developers


I was perusing some of the recent content on the Gartner portal, and discovered a report called Ensuring Quality From External Agile Software Developers. This turned out to be quite the tour de force, covering a range of topics like sizing for productivity and quality measurement, security, maintainability and the typical pitfalls of Agile software development. Especially managing outsourced ADM software quality. The report contains lots of great references and statistics. Really worth a read. It was written by analysts Neil Barton, Joachim Herschmann and Allan Wilkins, and just updated a couple weeks ago.

To measure software quality, tracking defects normalized by function point is the best solution

I was specifically pleased to see that CAST is mentioned in several places in the report. For one, it’s indirectly referenced as a solution for normalizing defect metrics by automating the function point count. If you want a defect per square mile metric, the only reasonable denominator is the function point. Also, CAST is mentioned as a solution for assessing the Maintainability and Reliability of software as well as a category Gartner calls Engineering Analytics. And, not least, the authors refer to a case study of a CAST customer using function point and software reliability metrics.

You may want to read this IEEE paper which details on how this customer, Fannie Mae transformed their agile development using a combination of software quality and automated function points analytics.
Fannie-Mae-productivity-quality-agile–DevOps transformation

FIGURE 1. Improvements in productivity and quality during the agile–DevOps transformation at Fannie Mae. AFP 5 Automated Function Points, CAST AIP 5 CAST Application Intelligence Platform, and CoE 5 Center of Excellence.

CAST preferred by GSIs Accenture, Cognizant & Wipro to ensure software quality in agile development

The paper also points out a lot of good research on the subject of software reliability and quality. They mention sources such as Google, The Atlantic, Capers Jones, Steve McConnell, MITRE, CISQ, OMG, UK MoD, and many others. Since Allan and Neil also work with many Global Systems Integrators, they’d heard from Accenture, Cognizant and Wipro (in alphabetical order) about their use of CAST and chose to mention that in a footnote too. Nice! All the major GSIs have a significant investment in CAST technology, and many of the mid-tier SIs are starting to catch up too. Actually, Infosys is doing a webinar with us about some pretty advanced app modernization topics.


Beyond the nod to CAST, this is a very well researched and comprehensive view of measuring software outcomes in modern day sourcing. If you don’t have access to Gartner’s research, you should. And if you have access and have not yet read this report, you definitely should. You can find the report on Gartner’s portal here.

  This report describes the effects of different industrial factors on  structural quality. Structural quality differed across technologies with COBOL  applications generally having the lowest densities of critical weaknesses,  while JAVA-EE had the highest densities. While structural quality differed  slightly across industry segments, there was almost no effect from whether the  application was in- or outsourced, or whether it was produced on- or off-shore.  Large variations in the densities in critical weaknesses across applications  suggested the major factors in structural quality are more related to  conditions specific to each application. CRASH Report 2020: CAST Research on  the Structural Condition of Critical Applications Report
Open source is part of almost every software capability we use today. At the  very least libraries, frameworks or databases that get used in mission critical  IT systems. In some cases entire systems being build on top of open source  foundations. Since we have been benchmarking IT software for years, we thought  we would set our sights on some of the most commonly used open source software  (OSS) projects. Software Intelligence Report <> Papers
Making sense of cloud transitions for financial and telecoms firms Cloud  migration 2.0: shifting priorities for application modernization in 2019  Research Report
Lev Lesokhin
Lev Lesokhin EVP, Strategy and Analytics at CAST
Lev spends his time investigating and communicating ways that software analysis and measurement can improve the lives of apps dev professionals. He is always ready to listen to customer feedback and to hear from IT practitioners about their software development and management challenges. Lev helps set market & product strategy for CAST and occasionally writes about his perspective on business technology in this blog and other media.
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