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 Because these occupations are gone—obsolete, unnecessary, outdated.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.
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.
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.
Multitasking is not a magical cure for getting too much work done by too few resources. Listen in as Payson Hall eavesdrops on a coaching session between two managers about how to assign and prioritize work.
People often point to requirements documents and process manuals as ways to guide a new tester. Research into knowledge transfer, as described in The Social Life of Information, suggests that there is much more to the process of learning. Michael Bolton describes his own experiences on a new project, noting how the documentation helped ... and didn't.
Why do so many people resist change, even when that change will be for the better? It's simple, really. Every change ends something, and endings mean loss. People don't like loss. Even the best changes mean something familiar will end.
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?
In these times, many of us are being told to "do more with less." A more useful approach is "invest our organization's scarce resources where the return is the greatest." To do so, we must define the financial benefits sought when developing a system in addition to its requirements.
Improving your software development process is only valuable if it fills the highest priority needs for your business clients with speed and quality. Lean principles provide guidance on how to create a structure that lets business priorities drive the selection of the right products for creation and enhancement.