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How to Prepare for ISTQB Exam[magazine]

In this FAQ column, Michael Sowers provides advice on preparing for the ISTQB Advanced Level Test Manager Certification Exam.

Michael Sowers's picture Michael Sowers
Common Misconceptions about Agile: Agile Is Just a Project Management Framework[article]

When it comes to transitioning to agile, if a team only goes off what it's heard from other teams and doesn't take a class or read any books about the process, misconceptions can abound. And that leads to problems. Read on to have three common agile myths debunked and to learn why agile is a cultural change, not just a project management framework.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Painful Lessons I Learned From Bootstrapping a Startup[magazine]

If you are considering leaving the nest to self-fund your own endeavor, you may want to read about Mike Botsko's experience creating a cloud-based, bug-tracking app called Snowy Evening. What started out as a lot of fun quickly turned into a tough journey. Don't worry—it has a happy ending!

Mike Botsko's picture Mike Botsko
Common Misconceptions about Agile: There Is Only One Approach[article]

Many teams think they're agile. They might work in iterations and have a ranked backlog, but they don’t see the value they could be seeing. Usually that means they have a number of false impressions about agile. Read on to have three common misconceptions debunked and to learn what you need to do to make your agile transition successful.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
The Lean Test Canvas[magazine]

Taking lessons from the lean business model, Matt Heusser explains how a tester can present different values and properly set expectations with the team using the lean test canvas. His approach starts with defining who  the customer is and ends with key qualitative measures that will be used to ensure success.

Matthew Heusser's picture Matthew Heusser
Struggling with a Transformation? Try Serving Stone Soup[article]

The fable of stone soup is often told as a lesson about cooperation in times of scarcity. Mike Edwards has used an approach based on this allegory to help teams make steps toward improving themselves and the way they work, especially when it comes to shifting to new methodologies such as agile and Scrum.

Mike Edwards's picture Mike Edwards
Is Agile Breaking Product Management?[magazine]

It can be a challenge for a product manager to know how to lead an agile software team. As product managers take on many different roles throughout a project lifecycle, there can be confusion, resulting in the product manager doing what nobody else wants to do. Steve Johnson offers a perspective of the agile product manager that every software developer should know.

Steve Johnson's picture Steve Johnson
An Innovation in Scrum Ceremonies: Peer Feedback[article]

Traditionally, the project manager or ScrumMaster is responsible for evaluating a team's performance. But peer feedback, when each member of a team picks another member, observes him or her, and then shares thoughts and suggestions about that other team member’s work, can also be very valuable to continuous improvement.

Rajeev Gupta's picture Rajeev Gupta
Motivating Teams In a Self-Organizing Environment[magazine]

A key characteristic of agile is that a team self-organizes to best fit the workload. This, according to Maria Matarelli, can be more difficult than the more traditional approach of a project manager simply telling the team what to do.

Maria Matarelli's picture Maria Matarelli
Always Read the Label: Getting the Most from Your Tools[article]

It is possible to find a new, innovative use for a tool, but it’s much more likely that you’ll do better using the tool in the way its creators intended. And whenever you reach for a tool, check that it’s actually going to help solve the challenge you’re facing. This article explains why first and foremost, conversation is more important than a shiny new tool.

Seb Rose's picture Seb Rose
Quality Assurance Is a Process, Not a Department[magazine]

QA is often considered that lonely department of testers whose job is to find defects before the customer does. It's not always glamorous, but QA deserves to be recognized as a key cog in the testing  machine. To achieve business goals, it is Susan Bradley's view that the QA process needs to be embraced throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

Susan Bradley's picture Susan Bradley
Guide Your Agile Development with Traceable Tests[article]

Testing professionals who are learning about agile often want to know how they can provide traceability among automated tests, features, and bugs and report on their testing progress. Here, Lisa Crispin gives an example of how her previous team worked together to integrate testing with coding and helped everyone see testing progress at a glance.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
Being Agile, Even if My Organization Isn't[magazine]

Many of us work for organizations that claim adherence to agility, yet in practice aren't even close. Agile is definitely here to stay, and if you haven't caught the wave, it is only a matter of time before you do. Brian Rabon  presents insightful techniques that can help you become more agile now.

Brian M.  Rabon, CST, PMP's picture Brian M. Rabon, CST, PMP
Does Agile Work outside Software?[article]

People will ask, “Can you use agile outside software development? In real business, not just in software teams?” Most experienced agile practitioners will instinctively want to shout, “Yes! Of course!” But intuition apart, where is the evidence? Allan Kelly found some examples and shares how agile works in environments outside software.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
Management Myth 36: You Have an Indispensable Employee[article]

An employee may become indispensable through arrogance or happenstance. These employees can cause bottlenecks and often prevent others, as well as themselves, from learning and growing professionally. "Firing" these indispensable employees sets your team free to work even when the expert is not available.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

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