Many organizations enforce systems that stifle flexibility by promoting specialization. But encouraging learning new skills and expanding outside core responsibilities promotes flow over resource efficiency, helps cover gaps in time of crisis, and lets you build a team that can deliver continually at a sustainable pace. It's the age of the generalist.
Many organizations make the same agile and DevOps scaling mistakes year after year, then attempt to rectify them by putting together a great new strategy—only to miss the reasons causing the failure. If you want to refuse to evolve and, as a result, cause your organization’s agile and DevOps transformation efforts to deliver zero business value, be sure to follow these seven antipatterns.
Agile is still on the rise, with many organizations that have been successful at the team level looking to scale their adoption. Consequently, it's important for testers to have practical application of agile techniques. You should know how to create tests to optimize maximum test coverage, have interpersonal skills, and successfully build relationships within the team.
You can learn all the theoretical agile principles and best practices, but you still may not be agile. To be truly agile, you must also communicate and collaborate with your team—and this means speaking up. Even if you're not a natural extrovert, there are plenty of ways you can contribute during planning, sprints, and retrospectives to make your product and process better.
When companies adopt agile internally, they often forget to extend the concepts and values to their partners. You have to look at your outsourced delivery components as part of the process that needs to be included as an extended team. Collaboration, reflection, and improvement is at the heart of agile, and it should look that way from the perspective of all elements in the delivery chain.
Making the transition to agile can be difficult for teams that are used to working in large groups and reporting to a single manager. Kris Hatcher suggests a new way to work: in smaller teams called code factories, which are created to stick with a specific product throughout its lifetime.
Kanban, a highly effective agile framework, is based on the philosophy that everything can be improved. And it's not just for development teams. The QA team also can use kanban to organize tasks, identify bottlenecks, and make their processes clearer and more consistent.
Think about the common practices of an agile team: daily stand-up meetings, retrospectives after every sprint, pair programming and buddy reviews, collaborating with customers, and more face-to-face time instead of mountains of documentation. What is the agenda behind all these operations? Frequent and open communication.
In the public sector, a change in standard processes and procedures requires significant effort and, often, approval from external vendors and elected officials as well as internal stakeholders. To get buy-in to become agile, you have to utilize all Scrum tools at your disposal to show the value of the proposed agile process.
We know the importance of quick feedback cycles in our builds so we can fail fast and get reactions from the end-user. But sometimes agile teams forget the importance of gathering responses from other team members. This article details several methods for eliciting feedback, as well as how to pick what's right for your team.