process improvement

Articles

The Art of Maximizing Work Not Done

One of the twelve principles behind the Agile Manifesto is “Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential.” Why is this principle called an art, while the others aren’t? And why should we maximize the amount of work "not" done? This article analyzes the importance of simplicity in agile projects.

Ledalla Madhavi's picture Ledalla Madhavi
Help Your Team Understand Its Iteration Burndown

A good key indicator for measuring how well your agile team is performing is the burndown chart. It’s a simple concept—as time passes, the amount of work to do decreases. Of course, there will be days when progress is not as expected or tasks end up larger than originally estimated. A burndown can help your team reset and keep stakeholders in the loop.

Dave Browett's picture Dave Browett
Are You Ready for Go-Live? Eight Essential Questions

As real and daunting as scheduling pressures can be, they have to be balanced with the consequences of a potentially disastrous premature go-live. Don’t let all the reasons a system simply "must" be implemented by a target date overwhelm compelling evidence that it is not ready. Consider these eight questions honestly first.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
The Benefits of Pair Programming

This article details a team’s experience in implementing pair programming as a way to get work done as part of its agile transformation. It delves into the many positive results from the pairing experiment, as well as some of the negatives that were encountered, and weighs whether developers think pair programming is a worthwhile endeavor.

Tim Groven's picture Tim Groven

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

Better Thinking for Better Software: Thinking Critically about Software Development: An Interview with Laurent Bossavit
Podcast

In this interview, software developer Laurent Bossavit talks about why we need to think more critically about software development. He dispels common misconceptions about the industry and suggests better ways to improve the development process, such as agile and lean methods.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
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

Conference Presentations

Balancing the Crusty and Old with the Shiny and New
Slideshow

In his journeys, Bob Galen has discovered that testing takes on many forms. Some organizations have no automated tests and struggle to run massive manual regression tests within very short iterative releases. Other organizations are going “all in”―writing thousands of acceptance tests...

Bob Galen, Velocity Partners
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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