process improvement

Better Software Magazine Articles

Putting the Kart before the Horse?

Go-karting is where most of the current Formula One racing drivers first learned the basics of race-craft. Antony Marcano, a former kart racer himself, recounts a father-and-son racing experience that helps him explain what goes wrong for many organizations that adopt Scrum as their first attempt to "go agile."

Antony Marcano's picture Antony Marcano
Time to Let Go of Obsolete Jobs

Town crier, elevator operator, gas lamp lighter, carbon paper distributor, telegraph operator—you probably haven't seen many help wanted ads for these occupations lately. Why? Because these occupations are gone—obsolete, unnecessary, outdated. We just don't need them anymore. When new paradigms are created, new jobs are often created with them. And sometimes, existing jobs are no longer relevant.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
What to Expect When You're Automating Testing

After learning the basics of testing frameworks, writing tests for your existing codebase can be a daunting challenge. Where should you start testing, and what kind of tests will be the most effective? Learn how to kick-start your testing and some solutions to problems teams frequently encounter.

Daniel Wellman's picture Daniel Wellman
Scrum: Using High-impact Teamwork to Tackle Software Development Projects

For organizations trying to do more with less in the current economy, knowing where to turn for help can be a big question mark. But as Laszlo Szalvay of Danube explains, Scrum is one possible solution. This agile method of project management is quickly transforming the way software is developed by bringing teams together through frequent communication and high-impact collaboration, resulting in increased productivity and an ability to build a better product faster.

Laszlo Szalvay's picture Laszlo Szalvay
Do You Know Why You Are Doing That?

It's easy to get caught up in the inertia of a project and forget to ask exactly what we are developing, who our customers are, and what their goals with our software might be. Few software projects have the time and budget to figure out what their project is through trial and error. Getting clarity on project focus not only helps productivity, working to create software that people actually need increases our chances for success.

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
Navigating Conflict

On good agile teams, conflict is frequent and viewed as normal. On great agile teams, conflict is constant and welcome as a catapult to high performance. What can we do to help teams chart their course through conflict so that it turns into a constructive force for greatness?

Lyssa Adkins's picture Lyssa Adkins
Are Your Pants on Fire, or Do You Suffer from Split Focus?

Some schedule games—Split Focus and Pants on Fire—are the result of your management not making certain decisions about the project portfolio. Without those decisions, your project has problems. In this column, Johanna Rothman explains what you can do when the problems on your project are caused by your management’s lack of decision making.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
The TSA and Software Quality

As evidenced by news stories relating blatant failures on the part of the Transportation Security Administration, many organizations fail to learn much from the information testing provides. What can we do to improve the quality of our measurements so we can learn valuable lessons from the results?

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
The Kanban Primer: A Cultural Evolution in Software

Kanban,a Japanese word meaning “signal card,” introduces a new way to think about software development. Through signaling, a limit is set on work in progress resulting in a system that is never overloaded. Kanban signals do not need to be based on passing physical cards; any virtual signaling mechanism will do equally well.

David J. Anderson's picture David J. Anderson
What's a Manager to Do?

Self-organizing teams still need managers. But those managers need to rethink how they do their jobs and consider how much self-management the team can take on. Finding the sweet spot between hands on and hands off is the key.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby

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