process improvement

Articles

'Tis the Season for Annual Planning: How to Have a Jollier Experience This Year

One of the primary goals of annual planning is to translate aspirational strategic plans into realistic execution plans. Sadly, rather than delivering plans we can all feel good about and believe in, too often it leaves us depressed about the work ahead of us. This article shares five practical principles to remove the emotions associated with annual planning.

Catherine Connor's picture Catherine Connor
Five Common Pitfalls When Organizations Neglect Agile Values

As agile development has erupted over the software landscape, its core philosophy often has been neglected as organizations hurry to implement cherry-picked practices in the name of pragmatism. By avoiding these five common pitfalls, companies can better realize the true benefits of agile: high productivity, great software quality, and happy customers.

Victor Szalvay's picture Victor Szalvay
The Five Levels of Agile Planning

Contrary to popular belief, agile projects require as much planning as any other project type. It is the timing of this planning and how we attempt to minimize wasted effort that is different from other approaches. This article attempts to explain the different levels of agile planning and how we utilize them in an ongoing project.

Paul Ellarby's picture Paul Ellarby
Team Assembly and Its Impact on Value and Innovation

Simply putting a handful of developers together and calling it a “team” doesn’t cut it. There’s a better, more analytical approach to team assembly that results in more cohesive teams, faster ramp-up times to peak velocity, and improved innovation, business outcomes, and value.

Michael Rosenbaum's picture Michael Rosenbaum

Better Software Magazine Articles

Leveraging Automated Testing to Improve Product Quality

Improving product quality is often a very difficult task for even the best software development organizations. Rajini says the additional benefits of automation include benchmarking, code scanning analysis, end-to-end test cases, and compatibility validation.

Rajini Padmanaban's picture Rajini Padmanaban
The Curious Case of Waterfall Sprints

It isn't unusual for a project team to believe that adopting a mix of waterfall and Scrum can deliver the best of both worlds. According to Steve, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Steve retraces a real project that quickly disintegrated into an absolute disaster.

Steven Zachary's picture Steven Zachary
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, but instead 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

Interviews

The Great Agile and Waterfall Debate: An Interview with Calvin Baldwin
Podcast

In this interview, e-commerce expert Calvin Baldwin tackles the fundamental differences between the agile and waterfall methodologies, why agile is not a software panacea, and whether waterfall will ever see a resurgence or if a new method will evolve to dominate software management.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds
Scrum Versus Kanban: An Interview with Cory Foy

In this interview, Cory Foy speaks about his upcoming presentation at Agile Development & Better Software Conference East, why choosing Scrum or kanban is similar to climbing a mountain, how organizational change is all about experimentation, and why companies should use Innovation Games.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds
The Scrum Guide: An Interview with Jeff Sutherland

In this interivew, Dr. Jeff Sutherland, one of the inventors of Scrum, talks about a new community website, ScrumGuides.org. He covers the backbone of the Scrum concept, how Scrum can increase productivity, how organizations fail to implement it properly, and how Scrum is like a martial art.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Helping Auditors Understand Agile: An Interview with Steve Nunziata

In this interview Steve Nunziata talks about strengthing the relationship between agile and auditors, shifts in mindset required to adapt agile, pros and cons of an agile perspective, his time in various roles of the agile process, and how his classic rock band incoporates agile practices.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

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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