collaboration

Articles

Person solving a Rubik's cube Eliminate Fake Certainty and Solve the Real Problem

Too often, customers have a “fake certainty” about the problems they want to solve. They might not have defined the real problem, but they have frequently defined the solution anyway. The risk is that we might build the wrong thing. When the product owner works with the customers to define the problem, then works with the team to define the solution, everyone can win.

Johanna Rothman John Le Drew
Testing team standing around a computer and smiling 3 Methods for Better Communication and More Effective Testing

Successful delivery of software requires the entire team, so it’s imperative that everyone choose their words carefully so they convey what they really mean, are sensitive to others’ feelings, and consider all aspects of a problem. Here are three questions to remember when communicating about your software testing projects to ensure you’re considering the power of words.

Ajay Balamurugadas
A developer and a tester looking at each other warily Examining Cross-functionality Bias on Software Development Teams

Cross-functionality means having all the necessary people and skills on one self-organizing team. Unfortunately, the execution of cross-functionality is often biased. The main traps we fall into are misunderstanding the value of specialization, hero worship, and not “walking the cross-functional talk” as organizations. Let’s examine each of these pitfalls in the hope that your teams may avoid them.

Natalie Warnert
Hand holding up a small globe 3 Ways Distributed Design Teams Can Stay Agile

Having a design team an ocean away presents some challenges, including misunderstandings that often result from cultural and linguistic differences, occasional time zone conflicts, and difficulty always keeping everyone in the loop regarding decisions that are being made. How do we combat those challenges? Here are three strategies that can help keep your distributed design team on track.

Ekaterina Kudievskaia

Better Software Magazine Articles

How Can I Develop the Ability to Collaborate?

In this installment of FAQ, SQE Trainer Bob Payne and consultant Ryan Olivett answer one of the questions students ask them most often.

Bob Payne Ryan Olivett
Strengthen Your Discovery Muscle

An organization shouldn’t spend all its time building its delivery muscle without simultaneously building its discovery muscle. In fact, successful software teams deliver great products because they invest in discovery. Learn how to expand your innovation and strengthen your discovery muscle.

Agile Teamwork: Three Ways to Minimize Handoffs

Rather than rely on large handoffs between specialties, high-performing Scrum teams learn to do a little bit of everything all the time during a sprint. To do this effectively, teams must make three changes: shift from writing about requirements to talking about them, reduce the size of handoffs and make them more frequently, and pay more attention to the size of the product backlog items that they bring into their sprints.

Mike Cohn
Creative Agility

Many new products being developed require the contribution of artists and other such "creatives," but artists often view the creative process as an organic thing that cannot be analyzed, dissected, or reduced to a set of defined practices without killing it. This article explores barriers such as these to the introduction of agile methods and how these barriers can be overcome.

Clinton Keith

Interviews

Marcia Buzzella Improving Communication and Social Skills: An Interview with Marcia Buzzella
Video

Marcia Buzzella, an independent leadership consultant and strengths coach, discusses the importance of communication and social skills in a business atmosphere. She offers advice on tools to recognize your weaknesses in those areas and how to work toward improving your effectiveness.

Jennifer Bonine
Selena Delesie Discovering the Soul of Agile: An Interview with Selena Delesie
Podcast

In this interview, Selena Delesie, an international leadership and transformation coach and trainer, explains how your team can find the soul of agile, why some agile teams lack creativity, and who on your team should become a leader.

Josiah Renaudin
Jess Agile Improv Agile, Improv, and Learning How to Fail: An Interview with Jessie Shternshus
Podcast

In this interview, Jessie Shternshus, the owner and founder of The Improv Effect, explains the similarities between agile development and improvisation. She details how, in both cases, team members need to learn how to support each other, build on work, and be comfortable with failure.

Josiah Renaudin
Bob Galen Trust Your Testing Team and Stop Leading from the Front: An Interview with Bob Galen

In this interview, Bob Galen, an agile methodologist, practitioner, and coach, explains why you shouldn't lead your testing team from the front. He details how agile has changed the dynamics of a testing team and how you can lead both developers and testers by example.

Josiah Renaudin

Conference Presentations

STAREAST 2018 Make Your Team Awesome—Yes, You Can!
Slideshow

The key to creating high-performing teams is psychological safety—the ability to be vulnerable in front of others even when they hold diverse viewpoints, and the opportunity to take risks and trust that everything will be OK. However, creating this safety is easier said than done. Maaret Pyhäjärvi shares her story of working with software development and test teams to enable them to be awesome. She explains how to reinforce the positive while enabling great software product development by empowering others in your team. Maaret explores how to be brave when others are not, and how to care for and build safety for others. She describes being a catalyst for your team, emphasizing learning—always with safety as a prerequisite. Today, Maaret uses her position as a tester not only to test every part of the software but also to build the collaboration habits of the team, delivering actionable information to improve product quality.

Maaret Pyhäjärvi
Collocated East Logo Teamwork Tools: Movement Games for Collaboration and Creativity
Slideshow

Are you looking for new ways to invigorate your teams? Do retrospectives seem stale? Do story breakdown meetings feel flat? On the other hand, maybe your teams are humming and you’re looking for additional variety. The research is clear—movement matters, and play stimulates creativity. 

Andrew Smith
Overcome DevOps Adoption Barriers to Accelerate Software Delivery
Slideshow

Many organizations want to create systems delivered in a DevOps framework with diverse services implemented via API building blocks. Chris Haddad says that people, processes, and tools often hinder a team's ability to comply with security policies, streamline collaboration, and rapidly...

Chris Haddad, WSO2
A Tester’s Guide to Collaborating with Product Owners
Slideshow

The role of the Product Owner in Scrum is only vaguely defined—owning the Product Backlog and representing the “customer.” In many organizations, Product Owners go it alone, trying...

Bob Galen, Velocity Partners

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