The elves working on Project Santa—you know, the big delivery that happens every December 24—have decided to go agile. But Santa, the product owner, is busy and not always available to answer questions or provide guidance. What kind of suggestions and improvements should they address in their retrospective?
Many agile practitioners recommend re-estimating stories at the beginning of each iteration to increase accuracy. Adrian Wible, however, argues that re-estimating stories within an iteration planning meeting actually distorts results and decreases predictability. See if you need to rethink your planning procedures.
Some believe that an overarching organizational and governance model to structure operations in agile environments is needed. An agile project management organization can act as an aggregator and evaluator of agile project data metrics to help leaders track performance for improved value delivery.
Testers who analyze quality in every aspect of the team’s deliverables also have a responsibility to mitigate risks and practical issues that are bound to come up, and help the team succeed in their product as well as at being agile. Here are five such issues that testers can help the team alleviate or avoid.
Acceptance criteria can be helpful in expanding on user stories in order to capture requirements for agile projects. However, acceptance criteria should not be a route back to long, detailed documents, and they are not a substitute for a conversation. This article tells you how and when acceptance criteria should be written and employed.
Some teams only work with stories, but it can be difficult for a team new to agile to write stories that are easy to understand and provide value every time. An alternative is to add epics and tasks. Understanding the differences between each level and knowing what size story to use for each situation will improve the accuracy of your sprint planning.
One of the twelve principles behind the Agile Manifesto is “Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential.” Why is this principle called an art, while the others aren’t? And why should we maximize the amount of work "not" done? This article analyzes the importance of simplicity in agile projects.
A good key indicator for measuring how well your agile team is performing is the burndown chart. It’s a simple concept—as time passes, the amount of work to do decreases. Of course, there will be days when progress is not as expected or tasks end up larger than originally estimated. A burndown can help your team reset and keep stakeholders in the loop.
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.
Effort estimation is a major challenge for all the stakeholders of a project. Most people generally underestimate situations that may block progress and consider only the best-case scenario for a project. Your choice of estimation method may not be helping, though. Which would be better for your team: estimating by man-hours or by user story points?