process improvement

Articles

Management Myth 33: We Need a Quick Fix or a Silver Bullet

A new approach to projects or a new tool is not a quick fix or a silver bullet. Too often, you have ingrained, systemic problems that require a cultural change. That doesn’t mean a new approach or a new tool won’t help. It can. But you also need to adjust the environment that caused the problems in the first place.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
A Different Approach to the Agile Product Backlog

When one organization first shifted to agile, the team had trouble with maintaining the product backlog. No one could agree on priorities for items, they didn't know which item should be groomed next, and the backlog wasn't transparent to everyone. This team found a better method that works for them.

Jennifer Carder's picture Jennifer Carder
How Women Can Help Build Better Agile Teams

The IT industry is dominated by men. But you shouldn't hire more women just to lessen the gender gap. The ultimate goal is better teams, and it just so happens that hiring more women tends to help build better teams anyway. Companies should reexamine what traits they value in job candidates.

Pawel Brodzinski's picture Pawel Brodzinski
Why If I Could Do Only One Thing, It Would Be Retrospectives

Introducing a full agile framework can be daunting and cumbersome. Instead, try beginning with the method's core focus: continuous improvement. Retrospectives are the starting point of your agile journey and can help you solve the most immediate problems in your process, leading you down the road of process improvement.

Sune Lomholt's picture Sune Lomholt

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, 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
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

Aligning Teams, Architecture, and Governance: An Interview with Dennis Stevens
Podcast

In this interview, Dennis Stevens of LeadingAgile talks about his upcoming presentation on the value of aligning teams, architecture, and governance, along with common pitfalls organizations face when it comes to syncing up their teams, and even shares with us some hidden talents.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds
The Importance of Grooming the Backlog: An Interview with Andy Berner
Video

In this interview, Andy Berner of QSM talks about his upcoming presentation, the importance of keeping a well-groomed backlog, the pitfalls of the impossible zone, and why it's vital that you and your team keep your tools serving you and not the other way around. 

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds
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

Conference Presentations

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
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

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