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Five Tips for Retrospective Leaders and Meeting Moderators

Before you schedule or moderate another retrospective meeting, read this column by Esther Derby. Esther offers five tips that will help improve the productiveness of retrospective meetings. You'll also learn how letting the meeting participants run the conversation will solicit more feedback and ownership than traditional moderation methods.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
What's in a Name?

The names we give to things can have a powerful influence on how we think about them and also on how we get others to think about them. In thiscolumn, tester, test manager, and consultant Fiona Charles examines names we have given to two essential roles in software development and explains why at least one of them is both inaccurate and a problem for testers.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Multitasking Is Evil

Multitasking is often seen as a desirable skill—you can buy books or pay to attend courses that will teach you how to do it—but it is a surprisingly debilitating idea.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Transitioning to Agile in the Middle of a Project

Every team transitions to agile in different ways, and this column is one of those stories. But what makes this one different is that the main character, a project manager, is transitioning her team to agile in the middle of a project. From this story, Johanna Rothman details a potential survival guide for any project manager and team embarking on the same journey.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Receptiveness to Change

Everyone responds to change differently, whether managers know this or not. A good leader knows this, and doesn't hurt the morale of a team by expecting them to act a way that their incapable of, or that feels unnatural to them. Naomi Karten brings this all to light in this article.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Test Managers-Start Managing!

Some things in life, like death and taxes, are a given. Software development teams face their own givens: Project schedules will always change and certain teams will suffer because of these changes. If that's to be expected, then why haven't most managers done anything to save their teams from undue stress and abuse? In this column, Dion Johnson explains that we've got to take care of our teams, or else we'll never see the end of team abuse.

Dion Johnson's picture Dion Johnson
Weathering the Storm

The economy, like the weather, is a complex system that cycles through good times and bad. Dark economic clouds are brewing on the horizon. Predictions of inflation, stagnant growth, crushing debt, tightening credit are in the forecast. Payson Hall tells us how to weather the storm.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
May I Take Your Temperature?

This column isn't for you; it's about you. Linda Hayes wants to find out what it takes to be successful in the testing profession these days—if such a thing is really possible. Too many good ideas, such as incentive and recognition plans, have backfired. Linda feels there are a few good practices out there, but she needs your help to find them.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
Eight Reasons Retrospectives Fail

Retrospectives work for most teams, yet some teams are convinced that retrospectives will never work for them. When Esther Derby came across several of these teams for which retrospectives had failed, she questioned why and discovered eight common reasons for those failures. In this column, she details these eight reasons and offers solutions for each one.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Applying the Inverted Pyramid to Agile Development

Modern day reporters tend to write their articles using what is known as the "inverted pyramid" style. They start with the most important information in the first sentence, followed by the next most important, and so on. This format not only gives the reader the biggest bang for his buck as he reads it also gives both the reporters and their editors huge flexibility in their uncertain and fast-changing environments. Clarke Ching shows how modern software development techniques use the same idea to give customers the best bang for their buck—in equally uncertain environments.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching

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