Plenty of companies want to be agile and go through the motions but are not really agile. An agile assessment allows you to evaluate how teams or even organizations are doing in their agile journey. But like any useful tool, there is no shortage of assessment options available. Here are the acceptance criteria to look for and a framework for using an agile assessment.
The greatest use for agile in business is in changing how you tackle problems and projects. Rather than defining the whole project and setting a “way forward,” an agile approach takes things much more iteratively. That means meeting as a team on a frequent and regular basis to share problems and successes, then making improvements as needed—being retrospective.
In agile development, a bloated backlog results from teams accumulating huge lists of requirements, usually in the form of user stories. Retaining every possible story for building the product weighs down the backlog while squeezing (or obscuring) the highest-value stories. The best way to help minimize this risk is to optimize the time spent defining and refining the product priorities.
The Agile Manifesto contains values to guide teams toward developing better software. But its directives are also about leadership—influencing culture and creating an organization where people can collaborate to meet the needs of their customers. Here are seven lessons the Agile Manifesto can teach us about leadership.
For an organization transitioning to agile development, creating software architecture isn’t incompatible with your new processes. Consider the principles in the Agile Manifesto, involve team members who will be using the architecture in its development, and reflect and adapt often, and you will end up with an architecture that meets the needs of your team and your enterprise.
Using the iterative and incremental agile development framework Scrum should help manage product development, but some teams still have difficulty delivering features in a predictable manner. This organization decided to address the mismatch between what was being committed and what was accomplished by doing an experiment in work transparency.
Whatever your feelings on metrics, organizations will expect them for your team. You don't want to measure only one aspect to the detriment of other information, but you also don't want to measure too many things and scatter your team's focus. Here are four metrics that balance each other out and help gauge an agile team's productivity, work quality, predictability, and health.
Somewhere along the way, agile implementations have gotten overblown and unwieldy. Managers and leaders look at all the models and frameworks and think agile adoption is too confusing or not worth the effort. To communicate what agile truly means, we have to simplify the message by getting to the heart of agile: collaborate, deliver, reflect, and improve.
In order to fully embrace agile and create an environment where individuals want to work together as a team, managers have to move from a role of dictation to one of direction and mentorship. Instead of making all the decisions, managers need to trust their team members and empower them to solve problems on their own, innovate, and fail—or succeed.
Although its values are commonly associated with agile software development, the Agile Manifesto applies to all people and teams following the agile mindset, including testers. This article examines the four main values of the Agile Manifesto and reveals how they can bring agility to test efforts—improving quality for your team and your customers.