process improvement

Articles

How to Plan and Execute Programs without Shooting Agile in the Foot

Program planners in IT organizations have a dilemma: On one hand, their agile teams tell them that if requirements are defined up front, agile teams cannot operate; but on the other hand, the program’s budget and scope need to be defined so that resources can be allocated and contracts can be written for the work. How does one reconcile these conflicting demands?

Clifford Berg's picture Clifford Berg
A Case Study in Implementing Agile

This case study serves as an example of how adopting agile can be extremely beneficial to an organization, as long as situational factors are considered. Adopting a new development method is a strategic, long-term investment rather than a quick fix. As this article shows, making deliberate, fully formed decisions will ultimately lead to better outcomes.

Taylor Putnam's picture Taylor Putnam
What Are Your Team's Velocity Values?

For any agile-based operation, you can introduce the concept of "velocity values." Depending on the organizational culture, these values may come as monetary rewards, recognition, or other incentives. This can go a long way toward helping management understand how their respective teams work and can provide great insight into mentoring at both the individual and team levels.

Eric  King's picture Eric King
What the World Cup and Agile Development Have in Common

There are a surprising number of similarities between successful World Cup and agile teams. Both must be diligent in four areas in order to reach their “goals.” This article explores the parallels between the two for selecting the team, getting up to speed, consistency, and game plans.

Michael Rosenbaum's picture Michael Rosenbaum

Better Software Magazine Articles

How Does Security Testing Fit in My QA Process?

Alan Crouch addresses the question most commonly raised by those who are new to security testing, "How does security testing fit in my QA process?"  Alan explains that security testing shouldn't be limited to the QA process, instead it should be applied throughout the entire software development lifecycle.  Read this FAQ column for suggestions on how to improve your chances for success in catching security issues.

Alan Crouch's picture Alan Crouch
Process Frameworks, Not Fixed Processes

The software development field has been consumed with process management ranging from inflexible, predictive waterfall all the way to self-governing, adaptable agile approaches. You probably already utilize a specific process methodology on your projects, but have you considered adopting an evolutionary learning cycle process framework instead?

Ryan Olivett's picture Ryan Olivett Bob Payne
Why Am I Always Getting Bad News in the Eleventh Hour?

This article is a departure from previous columns. Kenton and Ryan role play the stress and friction between a typical product manager and an engineering team lead. This article may make you squirm, but it brings out the issues of teams attempting to do the best thing from completely different perspectives.

Kenton Bohn's picture Kenton Bohn Ryan McClish
Avoiding the Prioritization Trap

With incoming priorities being requested by just about everybody, how in the world can you and your team prioritize? Brandon shows you some innovative techniques that you can use to turn chaos into order.  One surprising approach is simply handling priorities on a first-in, first-out basis.

Brandon Carlson's picture Brandon Carlson

Interviews

Implementing DevOps in Large Complex Organizations: An Interview with Mike Baukes
Video

Mike Baukes talks about his definition of DevOps and why it's hard for organizations to get it right, common failues organizations experience when implementing DevOps, and the importance of visibility across the organization, and he even covers some of the great tools available today.

Jonathan Vanian's picture Jonathan Vanian
The Origins and Future of Scrum: An Interview with Ken Schwaber

In this interview with Dr. Charles Suscheck, Ken Schwaber, one of the signatories of the 2001 Agile Manifesto, describes the first days of Scrum, the biggest threats to agile, and the next big idea in the Scrum framework: evidence-based management.

Charles Suscheck's picture Charles Suscheck
Making Numbers Count: Metrics That Matter: An Interview with Mike Trites
Podcast

In this interview, Mike Trites, a senior test consultant, talks about his upcoming presentation at STAREAST 2014, the future of metrics, the importance of improving the efficiency of your metrics, and even an interesting take on the old phrase that numbers never lie.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds
Keyword-Driven Test Automation: An Interview with Hans Buwalda
Video

Hans Buwalda's experience covers being a developer, manager, and principal consultant for companies and organizations worldwide. In this interview, Hans talks about using keywords effectively, tests that have too many details, and the changing testing industry.

Jonathan Vanian's picture Jonathan Vanian

Conference Presentations

Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar Some More
Slideshow

History repeats itself as people once again become addicted to process. Today’s difficult problems call for a renaissance of agility, drawing on past success as we invent the future. Real value lies in intentional and contextual selection of agile tools instead of the noise associated with...

David Hussman, DevJam
Measure Customer and Business Feedback to Drive Improvement
Slideshow

Companies often go to great lengths to collect metrics. However, even the most rigorously collected data tends to be ignored, despite the findings and potential for improving practices. Today, one metric that cannot be ignored is customer satisfaction. Customers are more than willing to...

Paul Fratellone, uTest
Lessons from Busting Organizational Silos
Slideshow

We’ve all heard of the evils that can result from organizational silos—bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and the “us vs. them” mentality. Perhaps you’ve been a victim. As Tricia Broderick repeatedly experienced value from busting individual project team silos, she naturally wanted to expand her...

Tricia Broderick, Santeon Group
Sprinkle on Just Enough Process

How do you know if you have too much process, too little, or just the right amount? If you ignore process completely, unpredictability and chaos can follow. If you define the process to the nth degree and follow it religiously, the work grinds to a halt. Janet Gregory shares her...

Janet Gregory, DragonFire Inc.

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