Kent McDonald writes that identifying objectives and the assumptions underlying them provides you a way to measure whether the result of your project will actually get you closer to what you are trying to accomplish, as well as the impact your various assumptions have on reaching that objective.
Joanne Perold writes that you cannot just look at the numbers; the context behind the data is often far more valuable. Metrics can tell a compelling story or provide meaningful information to anyone who wants to pay attention, but when the focus is only on the number, it can be a disaster.
Dan Horvath explores useful metrics that utilize function point analysis (FPA) that you can apply to agile projects. Dan shows how to measure productivity and quality as well as how to estimate for agile projects.
In an earlier article, Dan Horvath explored some history and definitions of agile and how Function Point Analysis (FPA) can be used in the measurement of agile projects. Dan emphasizes that the definition of the project is critical to this process. In this article, Dan demonstrates the use of FPA in agile development through a hands-on example.
Much has been written about the balanced scorecard methodology. Its goal is to measure desired outcomes and predict drivers of those outcomes. For a properly implemented agile team, this line-of-site measurement happens naturally and is controlled daily. This article suggests a simple and natural scorecard that provides accurate daily visibility of drivers and outcomes for an agile team focused on delivering business value to its clients.
Knowing how much work your group can accomplish—and how much it takes to complete that work—is critical to your success as a manager. Johanna Rothman explains how to ascertain your team's potential and how to use that information to define and manage your project portfolio so it doesn't manage you.
The problem with urging outside-the-box thinking is that many of us do a less-than-stellar job of thinking inside the box. We often fail to realize the options and opportunities that are blatantly visible inside the box that could dramatically improve our chances of success. In this column, Naomi Karten points out how we fall victim to familiar traps, such as doing things the same old (ineffective) way or discounting colleague and teammate ideas. Thinking outside of the box can generate innovative and ingenious ideas and outcomes, but the results will flop when teammates ignore the ideas inside the box.
There's no doubt that the current job market is tight and a little shaky for test professionals. In a climate where entire test groups are being laid off or trimmed to the bone, Johanna Rothman notices a trend in test management priorities that you might want to consider. Follow the story of how one test manager determined tester ROI and how testers might approach increasing their value.