process improvement

Articles

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
Avoiding the Organizational Death Spiral

The death spiral supersedes the death march in that the death march is a singular event, whereas the death spiral is systemic. It is the result of organizational dysfunction where teams march toward deadline after deadline without reflecting on or questioning if there is a better way to deliver software. There is! Take these positive steps.

Thomas Wessel's picture Thomas Wessel
How Agile Is Growing as It Goes into Its Teenage Years

Agile is growing up and is now officially a teenager. It has moved from being a somewhat rumbustious child with some overzealous followers and a skeptical management crowd to something that is generally accepted by the mainstream IT community and particular management. Has the agile community lost something? Are the founding members and early practitioners evolving the practice? Is this good? Well, the answers are yes, yes, and maybe.

jon hagar's picture jon hagar
Prioritizing Effectively as a Team

If you’ve ever worked on a development project, you know you can never be that sure that everything will be completed on deadline. By prioritizing actively, you can change success from something binary—either we make it or we don’t—into something more gradual. By doing this, you increase the chance of succeeding in delivering something. If you prioritize really well, that something may even turn out to be far more valuable than anything you penned down in your initial plan.

Tobias Fors's picture Tobias Fors

Better Software Magazine Articles

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
Understanding Whole Team Testing

Whole team testing makes product quality everyone's business. It can also make people uncomfortable. Matt explains how this new way to approach project quality helps with leading retrospectives, conducting defect analysis, and mitigating project risks.

Matt Heusser's picture Matt Heusser

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

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.
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

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