Better Software Magazine Articles

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
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
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
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
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
Follow the Process

Building better software does not rely on methodologies. "Following the process" omits important human factors that ultimately lead us to success.

Lee Copeland
Keep Non-developers in the Loop

Keeping QA members up to date on changes as they happen–through meetings, wikis, and email–can reduce the number of unnecessary bug reports and save you time and frustration.

Melanie Tayler
Is ''Agile'' Distracting You?

If a process tool or service claims to be agile it must be good, right? Not necessarily. The term "agile" has become abused and, since we don't have a standard dictionary definition, it is open to interpretation. So, let's look beyond the label to what really matters—value.

Jonathan Kohl
Encourage Pair Programming

Pair programming is one of the most controversial agile practices. Managers are concerned about the costs and developers are concerned about personal agony. But there also are many benefits. If you are thinking about trying pair programming, here are several reasons why you should.

Rob Myers
How to Fail with Agile

A switch to agile often conflicts with personal career goals such as maintaining the status quo and working no harder than necessary. These twenty guidelines will help you sabotage your agile project, helping you fail quickly and spectacularly.

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