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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
Are You Ready for Go-Live? Eight Essential Questions

As real and daunting as scheduling pressures can be, they have to be balanced with the consequences of a potentially disastrous premature go-live. Don’t let all the reasons a system simply "must" be implemented by a target date overwhelm compelling evidence that it is not ready. Consider these eight questions honestly first.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
ADC West 2015 Keynote: Lean UX: Turn User Experience Design Inside Out

When developing products, features, and enhancements, you have to have your customers’ best interests at heart. “We’re not just creating software,” speaker Jeff Patton said. “We’re changing the world.” You need to better understand the people you’re building things for, and the only way to do that is to spend more time with them.

Beth Romanik's picture Beth Romanik
BSC West 2015 Keynote: Better Thinking for Better Software: Thinking Critically about Software Development

Software developer Laurent Bossavit delivered the second keynote presentation, about why we need to think more critically about software development. He began his presentation by saying his intention was to make you question what you know—or what you think you know.

Beth Romanik's picture Beth Romanik
DOC West 2015 Keynote: Why DevOps Changes Everything

The first keynote of the Agile Development, Better Software & DevOps Conference West was Why DevOps Changes Everything, by Jeffery Payne. There are definitely tools and processes that can help streamline a DevOps shift, but Jeff said that fundamentally, building a culture where everybody can communicate and collaborate effectively is key.

Beth Romanik's picture Beth Romanik
Make Your Retrospectives Engaging Again

After performing so many meetings at the ends of your sprints, agile retrospectives can become monotonous and boring—and that’s when they become ineffective. This article looks at the reasons this happens and provides some ideas for making those retrospective meetings more lively and effective—and therefore more useful.

Ledalla Madhavi's picture Ledalla Madhavi
What Does It Mean to Have an Agile Mindset?

There has been lots of talk about the “agile mindset,” but what does that mean? It does not merely encompass the skills that make a successful agile team member, but rather what drives a person to want to be part of an agile team. It should include the quest to learn (even when you fail) and leveraging what you learn to continuously improve on what you do.

Leanne Howard's picture Leanne Howard
Guide Your Agile Development with Traceable Tests

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
Does Agile Work outside Software?

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
Accelerating the Adoption of Technical Practices

Agile teams are supposed to take responsibility for how they work and how they learn. But what if you need to jump-start that learning? Agile transformation is about making this happen rather than waiting for it to happen. You need to get your team to learn the technical side of agile, and soon. Here are some effective approaches.

Scott Barnes's picture Scott Barnes Clifford Berg

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