people management

Articles

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
Smiling team members holding up a trophy 7 Qualities of High-Performing Agile Teams

A high-performing agile team delivers exceptional results time and again, irrespective of the challenges they encounter. While their results may seem magical, lots of effort goes into building such a team, on the part of team members themselves and their leaders. Here are seven common qualities high-performance teams exhibit that you should strive for when building your own agile team.

Pooja Wandile
Drawing of a person ascending stairs Continuous Improvement Activities beyond the Retrospective

One of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto is “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.” Unfortunately, many associate that practice with performing team retrospectives at the end of a sprint, or periodically in kanban. But if you seek to build a high-performing team, there are more improvement activities you should consider adopting.

Jeffery Payne

Better Software Magazine Articles

All Customers Are Not Created Equal All Customers Are Not Created Equal

Software developers may not think they have much to do with customers, but it is wise to consider the customer in all you do, from collecting requirements to design and implementation.

Regina Evans
The Secrets of High- Performance Software Teams The Secrets of High-Performance Software Teams

Of all issues that impact getting quality products out on time, the team should never focus on simply managing costs. To minimize the risk of perpetual product delivery delays, define what “done” really means.

Steve Mezak
tolerate You Get What You Tolerate

We’ve all worked with a talented developer who can be a frustrating challenge to manage. First-time managers may unknowingly encourage bad behavior. There are several innovative ways to resolve the situation.

Andy Kaufman
handstand The Power of Thinking Upside Down

Software developers can become bogged down trying to keep up with agile process and procedures. Get better results by rethinking your approach to balancing focus, agility, management, and testing.

Paul McMahon

Interviews

Gene Gotimer Understanding the Role of QA in DevOps: An Interview with Gene Gotimer
Video

Gene Gotimer, senior architect at Coveros Inc., discusses understanding the role of QA in DevOps, DevOps educational tools, trusting your team, and paid and open source security tools.

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
Bob Galen Getting People to Embrace the Change Required for Agile: An Interview with Bob Galen
Video

In this interview, Bob Galen, an agile methodologist, practitioner, and coach, explains why in order to become agile, people need to overcome their resistance to change. Bob details why agile works, how people's jobs will be safe, and why "change from the bottom up" can only get you so far.

Jennifer Bonine
Adam Auerbach How to Implement Agile Transformations at Large Companies: An Interview with Adam Auerbach
Video

In this interview, Adam Auerbach, the vice president of quality and DevOps engineering at Lincoln Financial Group, explains how major corporations can learn to take advantage of agile and quickly adjust to the speed it demands, as well as the methods he uses to implement enterprise agile.

Jennifer Bonine

Conference Presentations

STARWEST 2018 What Aircrews Can Teach Testing Teams
Slideshow

United Flight 232 should have crashed with all 296 lives lost. Asiana Flight 214 should not have crashed at all. But the reality is very different. Peter Varhol and Gerie Owen explain that the critical difference between the two flights was the interactions of their respective aircrews. United Flight 232 divided up responsibilities and worked as a team, using Aircrew Resource Management (ARM) to guide how the crew behaved during the flight, and especially in a crisis. Asiana Flight 214 deferred to the captain, neither communicating nor questioning his decisions in crisis. ARM helps cockpit crew members work together to best utilize the whole team’s skills to make flights safe. Using ARM principles, a testing team can bring their project safely home. The leader of a team is the final authority, but leaders must acknowledge team members’ knowledge and experience. This can make the difference between success and failure.

Peter Varhol
Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Taking Your Team from Dysfunctional to Dynamic
Slideshow

Does it seem like your team is the antithesis of agile? Being negative or fearful, resisting change, or hoarding information are common pitfalls that impede progress and can sink an agile team. How can your team adapt to each other, avoid these patterns, and find its greatness? All teams have people with talents and untapped abilities, but it can be difficult for a team to figure out what works for them, what they have, and what they lack. If your team is struggling to unify, find its stride, or revel in the fun of working together, then this session is for you. Michelle Vician will reveal methods to build collaborative behavior, reduce fear of failure, and increase generous knowledge-sharing within a team. She will present some key steps to identify everyone’s strengths and to fuel investment in—and passion for—the team's success.

Michelle Vician
Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Creating an Innovation-Rich Culture
Slideshow

It's important to create a culture that inspires and infuses your development team with great ideas. But ideas are not action. Ideas in and of themselves are nothing more than unrefined, random thoughts, and worse, most ideas never get implemented. Even when you do follow through on some of the best ideas, they can cause great harm without proper planning and execution. While creativity is an asset, unbridled creativity where disparate ideas abound outside a sound decision-making and execution framework will create distraction and chaos. In this session, Melissa Petak will show you how to transform your organization into a value-creating machine. Using Forbes 15 elements of spurring innovation, Melissa will show you how to balance your innovation portfolio, establish a competitive advantage, and drive business engagement. You'll learn how to create a corporate culture that turns ideas into innovation.

Melissa Petak
Better Software West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Create Influence, on Demand
Slideshow

The effectiveness of agile approaches are built on influence rather than authority. Practices like collocation and stand-ups actually amplify influence, leveraging behavior patterns built into humans through biology and social conditions. In this workshop, Bernie Maloney will show you how to unpack some fundamental influence patterns, gleaned from typical collaboration ceremonies, and turn them into conscious tools for leadership. Through interactive exercises, you’ll amplify and practice your ability to influence by quickly establishing and building rapport via all forms of active communication: words, inflection, and body language. Bernie will then show you how to extend these tools to lead individuals and teams, and influence upward in your organization as well. You will take away a set of simple yet subtle techniques to improve your communication effectiveness.

 

Bernie Maloney

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