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Grooming the Product Backlog[article]

The product backlog is the ultimate resource to making sure that your project sees the light of day, and of the highest quality possible. That is, as long as your backlog is given the attention it deserves, and needs. In this article we help you keep your backlog groomed to perfection.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Helping Agile Teams Tip Towards Greater Emotional Maturity[article]

Teams at a tipping point

Is there a transformational moment within a team when an individual shifts from behaviors that support only individual achievement to those that support team achievement? What observations can we make as leaders about the specific behaviors that help individuals turn towards their team and lean on behaviors that support the team? How can we nudge teams forward until these behaviors gain their own momentum? My experience in setting up agile teams to tackle complex, systemic problems has brought me to focus on the set of behaviors that are both markers and catalysts of emotional maturity. Emotional maturity matters for agile teams because it enables business value. Emotionally mature teams are resilient and innovative in the face of the setbacks and barriers that come along with complex problems.

 

Ellen  Braun's picture Ellen Braun
Agile Practitioners – Put Business Analysts to Work for You![article]

The agile methodology, like many concepts, is based on an “ideal” setting or environment. In the agile domain this usually constitutes a 100% co-located team of generalists who have unfettered access to the primary business stakeholder. Working in an ideal environment makes sense when you are describing theory, but organizations can find this perfect environment unachievable due to basic business constraints: resource skill sets, location, and time allocation. These constraints present barriers to agile adoption, can hinder productivity, cause frustration amongst the team, and can lead to project failure.

 

 

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Tracking what Matters with Burn Down Charts[article]

Burn down charts help agile development teams track sprint and release progress. The basic idea of a burn down chart is that the team starts with estimates for all of the tasks in the sprint, and then on daily (or more frequent) basis re-estimates the amount of work remaining.

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk
Negative Positive[article]

Testers who point out project risks are often perceived as "negative" thinkers. Software test consultant Fiona Charles (an optimist by nature and a pessimist by trade) writes about how a culture of unthinking optimism pervades our organizations and our society, and describes some of its detrimental effects on software projects.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Empowering Self-Organization and Energizing Project Planning with the Commander's Intent[article]

Things change, and when they do, it's best to be ready to change with them. The best plans are doomed to fail if they aren't malleable. In this column, George Schlitz and Giora Morein take a look at the military concept of "Commander's Intent" and how it can apply to non-military project planning.

George Schlitz's picture George Schlitz Giora Morein
Mocks and Making Tests Easier to Read[article]

There has been a lot of recent discussion on Twitter about the use of mocking frameworks and writing readable tests. Here is a roundup of some of the recent blogs on the subject.

Making Tests More Readable

Daniel Wellman's picture Daniel Wellman
Navigating Conflict on Agile Teams: Why "Resolving" Conflict Won't Work[article]
Video

Lyssa Adkins reveals a conflict model that helps you do just that, walking you through five levels of conflict from "Problem to Solve" to "World War," with each step finely tuned to view conflict in a deeply human and humane way.

Lyssa Adkins's picture Lyssa Adkins
2010 Trends in Project Management[article]

2010 brings with it multiple trends for project management. It is not surprising that many of these trends will help mature the world of project management as we know it today. Just as businesses must be flexible with market conditions, project management professionals and organizations must also adapt accordingly.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
What HR Doesn't Know about Scrum[magazine]

Scrum's relentless "inspect-and-adapt" cycle leads to change beyond software development practices. Scrum teams have reported changes in the way they think about human resources management. This article outlines ways Scrum teams may want to modify HR's beliefs and practices.

Michael James's picture Michael James
Oh, When Will They Ever Learn?[magazine]

After reading the book The Day the Phones Stopped, which was published in 1991, Lee began wondering why the poor software quality and complaints about development and testing documented in this book are the same complaints we hear today.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Crowdsourced Software Testing[magazine]

In response to shrinking budgets and tight launch deadlines, crowdsourced software testing is a growing trend. Here are six ways an on-demand testing team can complement your in-house QA efforts.
 

Doron Reuveni's picture Doron Reuveni
Offer Appreciations[magazine]

We don't always appreciate the power of taking a moment to reflect on past performance. Find out how real change can happen when a team invests in time together.

Linda Rising's picture Linda Rising
Virtual Labs in the Cloud[magazine]

Learn how to overcome infrastructure management challenges using virtual lab automation, and discover which cloudprivate, public, or hybridbest meets your organization's needs.

Ravi Gururaj's picture Ravi Gururaj
Finding Nuggets in the IT Gold Mine[magazine]

Development teams often are unaware of the commercial impacts of the software improvements they deliver. Often, the prioritization of work is done based on technical, rather than commercial, considerations. Based on a real-world example, this story explores the commercial benefits enabled by delivering in short release cycles and prioritizing according to bottom-line benefits.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching

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