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Sharing the Vision[article]

In this article, Michele Sliger discusses why sharing the vision with the project team is so important and how this knowledge helps the team in its delivery. With examples from Walt Disney and software development, Michele explains how bringing everyone together and getting team members on the same page allows for belief in and commitment to the project, which is a must for a successful outcome.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger
Agile Top-Down: Striking a Balance[article]

Agile is being evangelized in executive boardrooms and introduced top-down with increasing frequency. Considering that Agile advocates self-management by the individual and within a team, what is the role of senior leadership? My experience from this top-down perspective has given me insight into attitudes and techniques that are successful and others that fail. I assert that there is an effective and appropriate stance for senior leadership that will improve the effectiveness of an Agile transformation. Key to my list of recommendations for making Agile work is the balanced involvement of both senior-level leaders and practitioners in the planning and executing the introduction of Agile practices.

Bryan Stallings's picture Bryan Stallings
The Agile-V Balanced Scorecard Metrics[article]

Much has been written about the balanced scorecard methodology. Its goal is to measure desired outcomes and predict drivers of those outcomes. For a properly implemented agile team, this line-of-site measurement happens naturally and is controlled daily. This article suggests a simple and natural scorecard that provides accurate daily visibility of drivers and outcomes for an agile team focused on delivering business value to its clients.

Guy Beaver's picture Guy Beaver
Go For The Low Hanging Fruit![article]

As professionals, we are always looking for ways to improve the way we work. We encounter ideas and methods that we start to implement, but often we fail. Does this sound familiar to you? How should you avoid this? You should focus on implementing the changes that have the highest benefit versus effort ratio for you and your team, or as the title of this article puts it, the low hanging fruit. To facilitate this, we suggest the following steps: Make a change backlog, Find your low hanging fruit, Establish a raiding party, Establish a success story, Go to war, Celebrate! And Start over.

Odd Martin Solem's picture Odd Martin Solem
The Death Spiral[magazine]

Users don't have to be doomed to the nightmare of software fraught with defects that should have been fixed before release. Time spent testing now can save you from the Death Spiral later. Remember: If you don't have time to do it right, how will you have time to do it over . . . and over . . . and over?

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
The Exceptional Exception[magazine]

So much more than a bucket for your errors, exceptions can be a valuable tool that lets you communicate to your clients not only that there is a problem but why and where the code failed.

Tod Golding's picture Tod Golding
There's Nothing Like the Real Thing[magazine]

Ever wondered why one team's automated tests pass but your tests of the same software fail? Jonathan Kohl has an explanation. Perhaps we should all take a page from Marvin Gaye's songbook and test our project ideals in real-world environments. After all, "there ain't nothin' like the real thing."

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
The Ins and Outs of Integration Testing[magazine]

Software integration is never an easy task, and a good integration testing process is the key to success. This introduction to integration testing will help you identify what to test, typical faults to look out for, and effective means to uncover these faults.

Hans Schaefer's picture Hans Schaefer
Solve the Real Problem: A Formula for Sustainable Solutions[magazine]

There is more to software development problem solving than processes and tools. Discover a way to get to the heart of a problem with none of the hacks, shortcuts, and workarounds that have become the industry norm.

Tim Beck's picture Tim Beck
Beat the Odds[magazine]

You know that old saying that the best way to schedule software development is to come up with your best guess and divide by three? In this article, Joel Spolsky explains how to take the guesswork out of estimations by simulating schedules and creating probability curves that are more than just a shot in the dark.

Joel Spolsky's picture Joel Spolsky
Looks Do Matter[article]

In a previous article published on this site, "Testing the Bold and the Beautiful" (May 2001), the author received many thoughtful comments and questions about the importance of aesthetics in software. This paper was inspired in part from those questions. It clarifies the difference between aesthetic testing and usability testing. The paper makes the business case for "beauty testing" and argues that an ugly UI can undermine the bottom line. It offers methods and a survey-template for successful aesthetic testing. The paper concludes with a list of "Facts and Myths, Dos and Don'ts."

Yogita Sahoo's picture Yogita Sahoo
The Proof of the Pudding . . .[magazine]

In this month's Test Connection Michael Bolton recounts a valuable lesson he learned early in his testing career: What's the best way to test a product? Use it yourself.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Take a Stand-Yes or No, not Maybe[magazine]

It's happened again. Your boss corners you and pressures you to take on extra work. The additional project gives you more work than you can realistically do, let alone do well. Find out how you can stand up to your boss and work with him to create reasonable priorities for your time without damaging your relationship.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
A Box of a Different Color[magazine]

Are there elements of glass box testing and black box testing that overlap and can be helpful to either type of tester? One developer looks at the gray area between black box testers and glass box testers and comes up with some surprising results.

Matt Heusser's picture Matt Heusser
Up the Organization, Redux[magazine]

Certain management principles are enduring and able to cross the boundaries of industry In this month's Technically Speaking, Lee Copeland takes a look at the software development applications of his favorite management book.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland

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