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Compuware Accommodates Agile Development

The company's Changepoint portfolio management software now allows for agile software development techniques.

Compuware says it's able to pre-configure its Changepoint portfolio management software in an Agile Accelerator version. By using the Agile Accelerator version, software project managers can more easily supervise agile development methods.

Interest in agile development, in which big projects are broken up into small parts addressed by small teams, with business stakeholders reviewing progress, has been growing for several years. But many development teams try to use the same project management tools for agile processes as more traditional development approaches, said Lori Ellsworth, VP of Compuware Changepoint products.

Agile Accelerator lets an agile technique, the use of Scrum teams, be included in the project-planning process. Scrum is a term borrowed from rugby, a unified team of cross functional skills, including an advocate of the business stakeholder as well as project manager and developers, who engage in sprints-- short periods where specific development goals are met.

The constant feedback process of sprints tells the Scrum team what the stakeholders meant when the analysts drew up the requirements for the project.

Feedback from sprints, unit testing, and stakeholder/developer interactions can be added to the project-planning process to help redirect a project to a path closer to the one intended by the business stakeholders.

Capturing that feedback in the project management system's planning process helps ensure a successful outcome, versus producing a system that works but doesn't meet the expectations of the stakeholders, Ellsworth said in making the announcement June 15.

Agile techniques encourage face-to-face communication between developers, and between developers and stakeholders. More traditional waterfall-style project management lays out a grand design and sends many developers off to work in isolation until the grand assembly of the whole, which may or may not work as expected by business users.

According to information on Compuware's Web site, pricing on Changepoint starts at $52,500.

In early May, Compuware sold its Quality Solutions to Micro Focus.

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