I often come across research into things such as Agile development, ITIL, pair programming and other areas. But the research is often quoted by fans of whatever the topic is.
I am generally too lazy to confirm that the research is sound, so I generally ignore most of it.
But here is some unbiased looking research (which I have not verified) into some areas of software development:
The areas I found most interesting were:
– Test driven development provides better quality but is significantly slower then “code then test”. I am in favour of quality over speed in deploying new code, but this is the first research I have seen on the impact of TDD to speed. And if the number is consistently “30% slower” then I guess that should give some teams cause to stop and think.
– Organisational structure and measures seems to have a massive impact on software quality. So rather than revolutionising the techniques used, maybe better quality comes from building and supporting the team with the right organisational drivers.