Evolution towards Hybrid Software Development Methods and Information Systems Audit Challenges
2. Classification of Software Development Methodologies
2.1. Traditional Software Development Methodologies
2.1.1. Waterfall Model
- Simple and easy to understand and follow.
- Linear advancement and completion of each level for proceeding to the next one.
- Clear determination of goals.
- Detailed plan and documentation that empowers communication between peers.
- Difficult to establish changes that were not incorporated in the analysis and design.
- Uncertainty at the beginning of development.
- Software is delivered at the end.
- Testing takes place at the end.
- Users are not actively involved.
2.1.2. Incremental Model
- Increased flexibility and adaptability.
- Enhanced quality, due to code tests occurring on each increment.
- Improved code reliability.
- Need for resources to be committed for extensive periods.
- Requires strong change management control processes.
- Requires that both problem and solution are well-understood.
2.1.3. Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM)
- Structured methodology that offers room for better communication between peers and high visibility throughout the generated documentation.
- Enhanced flexibility and modularization.
- Rigid control throughout the life cycle.
- Schedule flaws, due to high attention paid to the analysis.
- Requires capital to be implemented and maintained.
- Practically inefficient to be applied in smaller projects.
2.1.4. Prototyping Methodology
- Active involvement by users.
- Early detection of missing functionality.
- Risk of project failure is relatively reduced.
- Overall cost efficiency, due to early detection of errors and missing functionality.
- Time consumption for prototype building before proceeding to final product development.
- Upfront costs for building prototypes, which are eventually leveled with saving capital from the final product development.
- Insufficient to produce detailed functional specifications documents for each prototype.
2.1.5. V-Model variations
- Overall simplicity that enables easy adoption by teams and onboarding of new team members.
- Straightforward to follow and efficient when requirements are stable.
- Increased transparency by specific deliverables expected in each phase.
- Poor flexibility to manage ongoing changes in requirements.
- Software is delivered at the end of the deployment and in the absence of prototypes or other artifacts that may eliminate user acceptance failure risks.
- Requires high technical expertise of the team.
- Closer connection between development and testing activities occurring in each phase.
- Establishes a high level of collaboration and responsibility between development and testing teams.
- High discipline model.
- Increased complexity, which usually leads to the adoption of the V-model instead of the VV-model.
- Requires classification of critical application tests to secure efficient resource allocation.
- Demanding on budget and time.
2.1.6. Spiral Model
- Risk-driven approach.
- Provides a viable framework for integrated software–hardware integration.
- Early estimation of cost (radius of the spiral).
- Risk management that comparatively eliminates customer satisfaction issues.
- Rule and protocol strictness that must be effectively implemented
- Considerably high complexity of SDLC processes.
- Amount of documentation due to several intermediate stages.
- End date is difficult to calculate at the beginning.
- Not suitable for small and considerably simple projects.
2.1.7. Fountain Model
- Enables incremental and iterative software development.
- Allows overlapping of activities between phases.
- Enhanced flexibility in changing requirements.
- Limited documentation production throughout the SDLC.
- Demanding in resources to facilitate overlapping development.
- Limited risk management due to object reuse generalization.
2.1.8. Rapid Application Development (RAD)
- High speed of product delivery.
- Increased quality, due to users’ involvement in analysis and design.
- Enhanced flexibility.
- Overall risk management.
- Scalability when projects expand and require inter-team communications.
- Front-end development focus that undergoes back-end best practices.
- Success depends on highly skilled and experienced developer teams.
- Requires commitment from stakeholders, which in large enterprises is a matter of scheduling conflicts between senior managers.
2.1.9. Unified Process (UP) and Rational Unified Process (RUP)
- Empowers team collaboration.
- Capability for incorporating changes, both from customer and development team.
- A framework for unifying software processes within organizations, with the use of UML diagrams for team collaboration.
- Suitable for both small and large projects.
- High complexity.
- Requires intimate familiarization.
- No working software until the end of coding, thus risks regarding meeting customer expectations.
- Integration throughout the SDLC.
2.1.10. Microsoft Solution Framework (MSF)
- Enhanced speed and flexibility.
- Increased risk management.
- Shared responsibility.
- Complexity in the construction process.
- Increased administration needs.
2.1.11. Additional Heavyweight Methodologies in the Literature
- Bing-Bang : No document or process followed.
- Code and Fix : Also called “Cowboy coding”, a two-face model where software engineers code in 1st phase and fix on the 2nd, until satisfying the customer.
- Sashimi model : A waterfall model with an option for overlaying development phases.
- Sawtooth model : A variation of the V-model, incorporating prototyping.
- Ropes model : Rapid object-oriented process for embedded systems.
- Parallel model : Parallel concurrent development occurs when different versions of an object are developed simultaneously.
- WINWIN model : Extends the spiral model by adding Theory W activities (“make everyone a winner”) to the front of each cycle.
- Component-based model : Identifying and reusing already existing components.
- Architecture-based model : Approaching software design in terms of major design elements and their relationships among them.
- Intelligent model : Also called the “knowledge-based software development model”, a combination of the Waterfall model with an expert system to integrate knowledge.
2.2. Agile Software Development
- “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”.
- “Working software over comprehensive documentation”.
- “Customer collaboration over contract negotiation”.
- “Responding to change over following a plan”.
2.2.1. Crystal Family
- Elaboration through feedback directly from users.
- Improved team communications.
- Frequent deliveries of software.
- Minimum documentation approach.
- Risk for scope creep due to lack of pre-defined plans.
2.2.2. Adaptive Software Development (ASD)
- Strong collaboration between the developers and the customer.
- High visibility on product and progress.
- Low risk for project completion delays.
- Iterative testing imposes costs on the project’s life cycle.
- Engagement of resources in a wider timely manner for iterations.
- Difficult to scale or work in parallel project streams.
- Team obtains the full idea about the product before development.
- Acceptance of changes at any time during the development.
- Quick development of software.
- Able to develop software according to the priority of the requirements.
- Schedule never changes.
- Teams are self-managed.
- Requires major culture transformations within organizations to be fully adopted.
- Teams need training and accumulated experience to become efficient.
- Detailed estimates for scope, budget, and time are limited to the sprint level.
- Documentation is limited.
2.2.4. Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
- High user involvement.
- Increased visibility during project elaboration.
- Quick delivery (80% of software in 20% of development time).
- Tight schedule and budget control.
- Requires skilled and experienced personnel.
- Comparatively limited freedom provided to developers for creativity.
- Occurrence of management overheads.
- Difficult to be adapted for small teams.
2.2.5. Feature-Driven Development (FDD)
- Fast delivery, with short iterations.
- Usually favored by clients due to tangible and frequent results.
- Emphasizes quality at all steps.
- Provides high visibility of progress.
- Strong dependency on the chief programmer, who selects the features and mentors the team.
- Limited documentation.
- Unfavorable for small projects.
2.2.6. Extreme Programming (XP)
- Code simplicity and maintainability.
- Enhanced flexibility.
- High interaction with users to meet customer expectations.
- Reduced project failure.
- Creates working software faster.
- Relatively costly.
- Lack of measuring code quality assurance.
- Provides better results when developers are collocated.
2.2.7. Test-Driven Development
- High maintainability of code.
- Smooth refactoring that makes new feature additions easier to code.
- Cost-effectiveness, due to elimination of code errors that require rework.
- Continuous testing may delay development progress.
- Requires mindset change, skills, and team training to learn and adjust to TDD.
2.2.8. Lean Software Development (LSD)
- Eliminate waste.
- Amplify learning.
- Defer commitment.
- Deliver as fast as possible.
- Empower the team.
- Build integrity in.
- See the whole.
- Increased collaboration and decision-making capability of the team.
- Streamlined approach that eliminates waste.
- Early delivery of working software.
- Economies of scale from waste elimination and resources utilization.
- Requires organization-wide cultural change.
- Demands strong documentation and precise data for every step.
- Considerably difficult to scale.
2.2.9. Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS)
- One Product Backlog for all teams.
- One Definition of Done for all teams.
- One Product Owner.
- One Sprint.
- One Potentially Releasable Product on every Sprint.
- Many cross-functional teams.
- Cost efficiencies by economies of scale.
- Operation simplification.
- Resource utilization and elimination of co-existence of multiple roles.
- High visibility across teams and the customer.
- Requires organization maturity to apply.
- Demands a skillful and experienced Product Owner to cope with teams.
- Requires extensive organizational training for adaptation and maintenance.
- Increased progress visibility.
- Capability for focusing on priorities.
- Strongly collaborative environment.
- Reduced costs and waste.
- Lack of timeframes associated with each phase.
- Cannot be used independently, it usually fits other frameworks (e.g., Scrum).
- Focus on task monitoring and transition.
- Inability to iterate results for required reworks.
2.2.11. Agile Unified Process
- Applicable to both small and large software development projects.
- Constant flow of software delivery.
- Increased customer satisfaction, as they are involved in the development process.
- Flexibility for handling changes in requirements.
- Requires trained and skilled resources.
- Considerably heavy and streamlined in comparison to other agile methodologies.
- Lack of emphasis on document designs.
- Difficult to estimate the cost of the product at the beginning of the project.
- Continuous release and deployment
- Increased collaboration, visibility, and trust within the team.
- Fast delivery and scalability.
- Requires DevOps expertise.
- Speed is usually prioritized over security.
- Costly to adapt and maintain.
- Visualizing work with Kanban board.
- Work in Progress (WIP) limitations at each workflow stage.
- Pulling items, when needed, placed into freeze.
- Explicit team policies, enabling members to take quicker decisions.
- Shorter planning meetings for updating the backlog queue.
- Retention of constant Scrum events such as reviews and retrospectives.
- Metrics based on cycle time and lead time, in contrast to velocity.
- Enhanced flexibility, combining elements from existing lightweight software development methodologies.
- Elaboration of a team’s level of Scrum effectiveness.
- Limitation of workflow delays.
- Effectiveness is dependent on team control over their workload.
- Demands experience in both Scrum and Kanban.
- Alignment and visibility between teams on the enterprise level.
- Controlled environment for iterative development with a lean mindset.
- Waste elimination.
- Requires high commitment from all involved enterprise levels and users.
- Extensive terminology and process overhead.
- Complexity regarding man-day cost estimations.
2.2.15. Scrum/XP Hybrid
- Small releases, enabling progress visibility for customers.
- Continuous testing, integration, and refactoring.
- Collective code ownership.
- Requires considerable experience in both Scrum and XP practices from teams.
- Scrum-wrapped XP projects need to anticipate the non-colocation of developers.
2.3. Hybrid Software Development
- Practices: The range of tasks of the development team during SDLC, and their rules of progression for process running. Practices are categorized into single practices, (i.e., code refactoring, daily stand-ups), and methods (i.e., Lean, Crystal, KanBan, etc.).
- Frameworks: These are one or many selected practices and methods, specifying the SDLC management routines to be followed by the software development team.
- Context: This is derived from project goals and is related to accumulated success factors. These factors guide the selection of practices and methods, defining the desired outcome when applying a framework.
2.3.1. Waterfall-Agile Approach
2.3.2. Waterfall-Iterative Approach
2.3.3. Pipeline Approach
2.3.4. Combinations of Approaches, Frameworks, and Practices
- Combination of approaches. According to Prenner , hybrid development occurs primarily as a matter of combination between the three profound approaches: WAA, WAI, and Pipeline. Notably, the Waterfall model finds usage in all three of these approaches.
- Combination of frameworks and practices. Combinations between different frameworks and practices to establish hybrid software development were studied thoroughly by the international research project named HELENA (Hybrid DEveLopmENt Approaches in software development systems) [149,150], publishing their results as shown in Figure 33.
- Scrum with Iterative Development
- Scrum with Prototyping
- Waterfall with Iterative Development
- Scrum with Kanban (or Scrumban)
- Scrum with DevOps
3. Information Systems Audit Challenges in the Modern ERA
- Internal: run by auditors within their organization as self-assessments. These audits restrict the sharing of findings outside the organization and cannot be used for licensing.
- External: in the case of vendor–supplier relationships, a customer orders and operates an audit to verify the expected level of performance of their relationship.
- Independent: run from third-party independent auditors for licensing, certification, or product approval.
- Executive business model: examines how the organization is governed.
- Business processes: middle-management administration processes for business operations.
- System of systems: the connection of hardware and software for day-to-day business operations.
- Technical interfaces: the lowest level; most vulnerable for breaches, failures, and faults.
3.1. Factors That Affect Information System Audits
3.1.1. Business Environment
3.1.2. Technology Landscape
3.1.3. Sociopolitical Global Trends
3.1.4. The Need for Governance
3.2. IT Governance Frameworks
- IT Assurance Framework (ITAF) : an ISACA framework for designing, conducting, and reporting IT audits.
- IT Infrastructure library (ITIL) : a set of practices for the alignment of IT with business goals, providing a baseline for planning, implementing, and measuring deliverables.
- The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) : a framework for governing enterprise information technology architecture.
- Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) : a voluntary organization that provides guidance to organizations with its frameworks for operational performance, internal control, risk management, and fraud deterrence.
- VAL IT : a COBIT-based framework that enables the creation of business value from IT-enabled investments.
3.3. IT Governance Standards
- International Standards Organization (ISO) IT Standards . The International Standards Organization raises specifications for products, services, and good practices, assisting organizations to become more effective and efficient. The key standards that apply to IS/IT are:
- ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems). Stipulates the requirements of a quality management system.
- ISO 15489 (Records management). Specifies the rules to create, capture, and manage records.
- ISO 19011 (Guidelines for auditing management systems). Provides guidance for the internal and external auditing of managed systems.
- ISO 20000 (IT operations). The first standard for IT services management; includes the design, transition, delivery, and improvement of service requirements, securing value creation for both the customer and the service provider.
- ISO 27000 (IT security). Establishes guidelines and general principles for initiating, implementing, maintaining, and improving information security management in an organization.
- ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010:2011 (Systems and software engineering—Architecture description). Specifies the required architecture content, architecture frameworks, and architecture languages description for the creation, analysis, and sustainment of IT system architecture descriptions.
- ISO 27002 (Information security controls). Provides the appropriate range of generic information security controls and implementation guidance.
- ISO 31000 (Risk). Assists organizations in effectively managing the risks in an environment full of uncertainty.
- ISO 38500 (Governance). Provides a framework for effective IT governance for top management to understand and satisfy legal, regulatory, and ethical obligations with respect to organization use of IT.
- Information System Audit & Control Association (ISACA) Standards . ISACA provides the minimum acceptable performance required to meet the professional responsibilities set out in the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics. These standards are collected, maintained, and published as a factsheet by ISACA known as the IT Assurance Framework (ITAF).
- International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) Standards . Some specific ISSAIs relating to the audit of information systems are:
- ISSAI 5300 Guidelines on IT audit.
- ISSAI 5310 Guidelines for Information Systems Security audit.
- ISSAI 5450 Guidelines for Public Debt Information Systems audit.
3.4. Governance in Software Development
- Value management. Securing alignment and impact of the software developed by the organization.
- Flexibility. Leveraging resource utilization towards the selection of the most appropriate software development methodology for the case at hand.
- Risk management. Enabling continuous risk management during the SDLC, adhering to internal and external needs for compliance.
- Change management. Establishing a change management mechanism during the SDLC that enables the embrace of changes.
3.5. IS/IT Control Audit Objectives
3.6. Information Systems Audit Process
- Audit planning.
- Scheduling of audits.
- Competence assurance of auditors.
- Audit team selection.
- Audit roles and responsibilities assignment.
- Conducting audits.
- Records maintenance.
- Performance tracking.
- Issues tracking.
- Reporting to management.
3.7. Auditing SDLCs
3.7.1. Evolutionary Development
Traditional SDLCs Audit
- Feasibility Study phase auditor’s interest. Includes review of the business case, needs analysis, cost justification, risk mitigation plan, and occurrence of formal management approval to proceed to the next phase.
- Requirements Definition phase auditor’s interest. Involves obtaining complete functional/non-functional requirements, flowcharts, and conceptual entity relationship diagrams (ERDs). Requirements must be connected to success factors and acceptance test criteria comprising security concerns, while management acknowledges and formally approves plans and estimated costs.
- System Design phase auditor’s interest. Reviewing the design baseline and design documents including flowcharts and model diagrams. Assessing integrity control of the flowing data, traceability of user transactions, quality control alignment, and evidence of management approval to proceed to the next phase.
- Development phase auditor’s interest. Primarily, verification that quality control processes are followed during software development. This includes debugging and fixing issues throughout recorded testing, while compliance to original requirements is derived through formal user acceptance, followed by management review and agreement to proceed to the next phase.
- Implementation phase auditor’s interest. Confirmation of software installation and operation when entering the production environment and support of end-users with documentation support. Management needs to have agreed before the new software is deployed to the production environment.
- Post-implementation phase auditor’s interest. Verification of software development project closure and alignment of the output with the organization’s objectives by contacting reviews to confirm that the new software system was developed as designed and that controls were applied throughout the SDLC.
- Disposal phase auditor’s interest. Validation that previous version disposals followed respective processes and documents and that accounting records are in place.
Agile Development Audit
- Start early with data collection. It is essential to have a working data sample to start the audit process, which can be later updated during the audit lifecycle. Early data checks are essential for identifying preliminary issues with data compilation, reading issues, and processing outcomes.
- Preserve team’s motivation. It is recommended to avoid the introduction of work optimization frameworks to high-performing agile teams with proven capacity to deliver.
- Adapt on the fly during sprints. When running agile in sprints, changes are accommodated according to a team’s decision, with limited justifying documentation and management approval needed. Teams need to maintain development progress with no discounts on quality and risk management.
- Adhere to agile mindset communication. Auditing agile organizations depends on interaction with the development team in the absence of hierarchical approvals and strict communication protocols, which may seem paleolithic to the team. Complementary agility perception and motivation by both the auditor and auditees are key to success.
- Possess an understanding of the big picture. This will lead to safer conclusions on what needs to be audited and how can be approached, monitored, and reported.
3.7.2. Revolutionary Development
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Attribute||Agile Audit||Traditional Audit|
|Focus||Defined value expectations||Audit objectives|
|Planning||Iterative and incremental||Master plan|
|Ownership||Team-based||Internal audit team|
|Findings||Collaborative discovery||Audit objectives|
|Status updates||Iterative and incremental||Master plan|
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Kirpitsas, I.K.; Pachidis, T.P. Evolution towards Hybrid Software Development Methods and Information Systems Audit Challenges. Software 2022, 1, 316-363. https://doi.org/10.3390/software1030015
Kirpitsas IK, Pachidis TP. Evolution towards Hybrid Software Development Methods and Information Systems Audit Challenges. Software. 2022; 1(3):316-363. https://doi.org/10.3390/software1030015Chicago/Turabian Style
Kirpitsas, Ioannis K., and Theodore P. Pachidis. 2022. "Evolution towards Hybrid Software Development Methods and Information Systems Audit Challenges" Software 1, no. 3: 316-363. https://doi.org/10.3390/software1030015