Agile Tooling for High Assurance Development Series: Intro

For those who have been following the High Assurance and Regulated Environments and Agile and FDA series on this blog, you’ll be interested to note that my co-conspirator, Craig Langenfeld of Rally Software, has committed to describing some best practices for tooling high assurance projects using Rally’s Agile Lifecycle Management and compatible tools such as HP Quality Center and Apache Subversion. (SVN). In this series of upcoming posts on Rally’s agile blog, Craig will be illustrating various tooling solutions for artifact management, version control, test management and traceability. Even more interestingly, our collaboration and feedback from the broader community has incented Rally to provide some tooling extensions which will materially improve the automation and record keeping required in these more formal process systems.

Craig will be authoring posts on topics including:

1)   Use Rally to track and report on the basics – Define | Verify | Build

2)   Achieve tight traceability and reporting from Product Requirements to

3)   System Requirement to Verification & Validation

4)   Don’t overlook the implementation of the Validation Sprint

5)   Testing and test traceability in High Assurance Environments

Readers may note that I’ve never really discussed tooling in this blog. There are a number of reasons for this: 1) I’ve simply assumed it 2) tools tend to limit definition and discussion of the abstract methods to that which the tools can actually support, and 3) tools change faster than the underlying principles and practices do, so it’s hard to keep up, and 4) I am stakeholder in Rally.

I’m also well aware of the idiom  “a fool with a tool is still a fool”, and yet it also true that those trying to scale agile development, much less high assurance development, without appropriate enterprise-class, agile-native tooling may well be the biggest fools of all.

To that end, I really look forward to this series as it puts some “beef” into the abstractions we’ve described so far, and will materially help those who head down the agile, high assurance, path. You might want to subscribe directly to Rally’s blog, and add your voice to the community input that is driving these new practices and tooling enhancements. I’ll also be posting parallel comments on this blog as well.

And, oh yeah, Craig’s introductory post is here.

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