For one reason or another, team members don't feel safe reporting bad news that marks the delay of a project. No one wants to take responsibility for the set back, so the blame is passed down the production line. At this point, the blame game is in full swing. In this week's column, Peter Clark refers to this game as Schedule Chicken. His commentaries on the game's development reveal strategies that perpetuate delays. And this game only has losers: the project and the customer.
You're waist deep in your third month of late nights, weekends, and shipping stress; you can see and feel your team's energy waning. The goal is in sight but still far off, and you need the very best from everyone to reach the goal. How are you going to motivate and energize your team to reach the finish line? This article explores the major issues test team leaders face: keeping a team motivated and knowing when it needs to be energized.
We like to think that being late on one task isn't so bad because early and late completions will average out over the course of an entire project. If you flip a coin 1,000 times, it will land on heads about 500 times and on tails about 500 times. If your project has 1,000 tasks, about 500 will finish early and about 500 will finish late, right? Wrong--and many project plans are sunk by this common misperception.
Why wait to see your candidate work? Implement an audition into the interviewing process and add dimension to your candidate's resume. In this week's column, Johanna Rothman discusses how you can increase the effectiveness of an interview by implementing a well-planned audition. Whether this audition takes place over the phone or in person, you'll gather a richer perspective of the candidate's capabilities and how easily the applicant can adapt to your working environment. Put your candidate's words to the test; the results of an audition may break the tie between two superb applicants.
You work hard to find tools that can help you. You learn how to use and configure them. Then you find yourself working in an environment where you can't even use them. Have you encountered this frustrating situation? Danny and Alan have encountered this frustration many times before, and in this week's column, they're here to say you don't have to abandon all hope. If you're creative, you can still find tools to use–even in the most inhospitable environments.
IT's continuing push towards cost reduction has led to the burgeoning of the outsourcing industry. Implementing an outsourcing strategy is quickly becoming the competitive advantage for companies that need to test software and related components. Outsourcing firms offer other advantages and benefits that may have been previously overlooked, including cost savings. Jose Fajardo examines these benefits and other competitive advantages associated with outsourcing testing tasks for companies interested in transitioning to an outsourced testing strategy.
Testers are completely different from developers and customers, and even different from other testers. In this week's column, Harry Robinson argues that testers need to be appreciated for the unique contribution they bring to a software team.
If you're a manager, you probably know what it's like to have more work than you can possibly do. However, it's unlikely you'll receive approval to hire another "you." How can you free up some time to focus on the strategic work of management? You may have an untapped resource in your group. Take a look at the career aspirations of your staff: Does anyone want to move up to be a team lead or manager? Delegating a defined chunk of management work can give someone the chance to try on a new role and learn a new skill.
Can a pan create an award-winning meal without the chef? Can a scalpel perform surgery without a skilled surgeon to lead it? Can a paintbrush create a work of art without the artist? These tools and test automation are only as good as those who use them. In this week's column, Linda Hayes debunks the popular idea that streamlining through test automation will mean certain termination for employees. Linda explains that test automation can actually equate to becoming an indispensable team member.
The glitter and power of new technology can blind the eyes of those not fully cognizant of its true function. In Peter Clark's article "Captain Composite," he says, "The tool (technology) can become the product rather than a means to the project's goal." Enthusiasm born of this fascination for novelty tends to overpower one's ability to accurately assess the technology's limitations and risks. As a result, risk management is lost in the hype. Peter's tale of the fallible, almost quixotic, "Captain Composite" warns us that disregarding risk management inevitably leads to the pitfall of any project.
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