process metrics

Articles

Relieving Agile Tension: How to Write Small Stories That Still Have Value

There are two practical goals for user stories: Each story should be beneficial to the business, and each story should represent a small piece of work. However, there is tension between these rules, and they often push in opposite directions. This article discusses how to keep stories small and tasks manageable, while ensuring they retain business value.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
User Story Heuristics: Understanding Agile Requirements

Agile emphasizes just-in-time requirements rather than upfront preparation. The requirements person—be it the product owner, business analyst, product manager, or someone else—embodies the understanding of what is needed, and the user story represents the work that needs doing. This article details what user stories are (and what they are not).

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
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

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
Not Just a Number: The Real Value of Metrics

Metrics can be enormously helpful, but only if they’re used correctly. Abuse them, and they will drive dysfunction. Study the stories behind the data to find the real value.

Joanne Perold's picture Joanne Perold
The Hawthorne Effect

Ever wondered what productivity experiments on factory workers in the early twentieth century have in common with today's adoption of agile practices? Lee sheds some light on the "process of process" and the importance of retrospectives as catalysts for change.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
What's on Your Dashboard?

Just because a metric is easy to capture doesn't mean it is useful. The metrics that are really needed are the ones that can help you make good decisions. Find out how to establish a project dashboard with meaningful metrics that will guide your project safely to its destination without getting bogged down in an endless pursuit of unnecessary information.

John Fodeh's picture John Fodeh

Interviews

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
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
For Maximum Awesome: An Interview with Joe Justice
Video

Joe Justice is a consultant at Scrum Inc. and inventor of the Extreme Manufacturing project management method. He also is the founder of Team WIKISPEED, an all-Scrum volunteer-based, "green” automotive prototyping company.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

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
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.
Non-Pathological Software Metrics
Slideshow

As semi-scientific software professionals, we like the idea of measuring our work. In some cases, our bosses like the idea much more than we do. Yet, meaningful software development metrics are notoriously challenging to define, and many people have given up trying because metrics often...

Stephen Frein, Comcast
The Dangers of the Requirements Coverage Metric

When testing a system, one question that always arises is, “How much of the system have we tested?” Coverage is defined as the ratio of “what has been tested” to “what there is to test.” One of the basic coverage metrics is requirements coverage-measuring the percentage of the requirements that have been tested. Unfortunately, the requirements coverage metric comes with some serious difficulties: Requirements are difficult to count; they are ideas, not physical things, and come in different formats, sizes, and quality levels. In addition, making a complete count of “what there is to test” is impossible in today’s hyper-complex systems. The imprecision of this metric makes it unreliable or even undefined and unusable. What is a test manager to do?

Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering

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