Update Feb 7, 2013: The pages referenced below are gone. Post is kept for historic reasons only.
HP has renewed a lot of web pages. Unfortunately many links are gone or moved to some other place.
The agile accelerator new landing pages are:
From there you get access to several resources, like whitepapers and webinars. Trial software can be obtained as well.
On September 20, 2011 Dr. Andreas Birk and Gerald Heller provided some insights about the opportunities and challenges for testing in agile development organizations at an event at HP Switzerland.
While many test organizations still puzzle how to react on the agile development approach from a testing perspective there is a growing set of experiences on the practice side. Agile methods have a lot of quality practices already built-in. For example, when looking at scrum the following QM related practices are often applied:
However, there are also a couple of activities that present challenges to testing in agile environments:
E.g. Setting up test environments in more complex project contexts might require so much time, that parallel system testing within the development cycle cannot be established. In such situations a testing team needs to find an alternative solution together with the development team, so that the goals of testing can be achieved.
However the top challenges are found where roles and competencies are touched. For example: joint estimation for user stories sounds good, but often testers don’t even participate in sprint planning meetings. And if so, they aren’t allowed to add testing effort to the size of the story. Becoming a full member of the team requires often needs time, where active change management and coaching continuously must address those topics.
The full presentation is available on request.
Peter Vollmer from Hewlett-Packard’s development organization provided interesting insight how HP addresses these challenges in its global agile development context. In particular HP not only uses HP Quality Center, but also the HP Accelerator for agile planning and status tracking. His presentation is available on request.
HP announced by the end of December 2010 a new basic version of the agile accelerator 4.0. There is now a version for QC 10 and a version for QC11/ALM available. New support is included for unit testing. Development tasks can be tied to unit test cases (NUnit, JUnit, or FitNesse). Continuous integration tools like Cruise Control/Hudson can be called from within QC to start the build process. Agile reporting is streamlined. There is also a new team-based Sprint burndown chart that shows a burndown comparison across teams.
The basic module can be freely downloaded from this link.
Recently, I provided an agile perspective on the Vivit TQA Webcast “New Features of HP Quality Center and Product Roadmap” by Raziel Tabib.
The webcast was focusing on version 11 of QC.
I got feedback, that existing customers of QC wonder how QC supports agile development in earlier versions. So I created an overview, which describes agile support from version 9.2 up to 11.0. It’s not meant to provide an in depth detailed description about features. Rather, it should provide orientation for existing and new customers what they can expect from different QC versions to support agile development.
There are 3 horizonal layers. On the bottom I’ve listed “agile enabling features”. Having those in place experts are able to build “custom agile solutions” which I have described in the middle layer. The upper layer holds “ready made” agile solutions. Currently HP provides the “Advanced agile accelerator” here.
Each QC version includes the features of previous versions. That’s why I decided to only list new features for a specific version. (Click on the picture to view an enlarged version).
HP QC support of agile in various versions