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Articles

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
Opening the Door to Better Open Door Policies

Many managers claim to have an open-door policy. They want to be available to their employees. But do they really have an open-door policy, or is it a handy name for a commendable intention? Naomi Karten describes the flaws in open-door policies and offers suggestions for making them work.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Project Negotiations and the Iron Triangle

Negotiation skills are useful in life and essential for professional success. This week, Payson Hall provides a short tutorial on project negotiations that includes a technique to help you look for solutions. The use of motivation and the "Iron Triangle" is a good starting point.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
An Uncomfortable Truth about Agile Testing

One characteristic of agile development is continuous involvement from testers throughout the process. Testers have a hard and busy job. Jeff has finally starting to understand why testing in agile development is fundamentally different.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Is Collaboration the Right Way to Work?

Do you manage a team or a group? How can you tell the difference, and is it important to differentiate the two? In this column, Esther Derby explains that identifying your associates as one or the other is paramount to how they should be managed.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Setting Up Global Agile Teams

There are no best practices for creating a productive, global development organization, just a few good ideas to think about and tailor around your particular objectives. Consider three universal issues every organization must grapple with to make a global agile team successful: data considerations, communications needs, and a company's agile readiness. How you handle each of these issues will vary widely, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every organization.

David Webb's picture David Webb
Agile Strategies for Geographically Distributed Quality Management

Geographically Distributed Development (GDD) is a common strategy in the software world today. Organizations are gaining experience in developing software globally and are discovering that the competitive demand for best-in-class, high quality applications requires greater agility in quality management. Unfortunately, IT budgets are not keeping up with the staff required for quality management and the response is to accelerate quality management by leveraging global teams. This article compares and contrasts agile GDD testing strategies for affecting quality management.

Scott W. Ambler's picture Scott W. Ambler

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