Articles

Hand holding stopwatch 5 Principles for Using Agile Team Metrics Responsibly

With the transparency of agile and the granularity of team-based metrics, it's important to be responsible in how you use your measurements. There are five principles Joel Bancroft-Connors adheres to when dealing with metrics: start collecting early and often, be consistent, stay focused, measure the project and the teams separately, and—most importantly—measure responsibly.

Joel Bancroft-Connors
Metrics 4 Balanced Metrics for Tracking Agile Teams

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.

Joel Bancroft-Connors
Agile Mindsets How Do You Recruit Team Members with Agile Mindsets?

The traditional ways of finding employees are changing. If you want to get a role that will make you happy to contribute to the team, you need to rethink the way you apply for roles. If you are the resource manager, change how you recruit. This article focuses on the qualities you should be exemplifying or looking for if you want to form a team with an agile mindset.

Leanne Howard
Value and Innovation Team Assembly and Its Impact on Value and Innovation

Simply putting a handful of developers together and calling it a “team” doesn’t cut it. There’s a better, more analytical approach to team assembly that results in more cohesive teams, faster ramp-up times to peak velocity, and improved innovation, business outcomes, and value.

Michael Rosenbaum

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
overwhelmed at work Saying No to More Work

We’ve all been placed in the situation where a boss asks you to perform more work than you can possibly handle. Johanna Rothman knows firsthand that there is a better way to respond that benefits you and your manager.

Johanna Rothman
Cracking the Code on Millennials

Our latest generation of programmers, project managers, and testers is perceived to be uninterested, unmotivated, and difficult to manage. Jason Garber presents innovative techniques you can use to lead your next rising star.

Jason Garber
Planning to Performance Test Your App? Think Again!

To complement functional validation, software teams are expected to validate performance. But, according to Jun Zhuang, you must be prepared to invest time, personnel, and resources to benefit from performance testing.

Jun Zhuang

Interviews

Mike Trites talks about improving the quality of your metrics Improving the Efficiency of Your Metrics: An Interview with Mike Trites
Podcast

In this interview, Mike Trites, a senior test consultant, talks about his upcoming presentation at STAREAST 2014, the future of metrics, the importance of improving the efficiency of your metrics, and even an interesting take on the old phrase that numbers never lie.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds
Agile coach Pat Arcady How to Manage Team Conflict in Your Organization: An Interview with Pat Arcady

Pat Arcady is an agile and executive coach with FreeStanding Agility. In this interview, Pat discusses ways conflict manifests itself in an organization, the importance of nonviolent communication, and a useful four-step protocol for achieving positive outcomes for all parties.

Jonathan Vanian

Conference Presentations

STARWEST 2018 The Art of Software Investigation
Slideshow

Although processes and tools play an important role in software testing, the most important testing tool is the mind. Like scientists, testers search for new knowledge and share discoveries—hopefully for the betterment of people’s lives. More than sixty years ago, William I.B. Beveridge reframed discussion of scientific research in his classic book The Art of Scientific Investigation. Rather than add to the many texts on the scientific method, he focused on the mind of the scientist. Join Ben Simo as he applies Beveridge’s principles and techniques for scientific investigation to software testing today. Learn to discover and communicate new knowledge that matters; to think—and test—like scientists; and to continually prepare, experiment, exploit chance, imagine productively, apply intuition and reason, tune observation, and overcome resistance.

Ben Simo
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
STAREAST 2018 Balancing Tech Know-How with Social Skills
Slideshow

Even today, communication breakdowns are a primary cause of software project failures. Marcia Buzzella’s research shows that increasing the success rate of projects across agile, DevOps, and waterfall methods requires a balance of social and technical capabilities. Social interactions enable us to assess situations and course correct in ways machines cannot. By strengthening your individual social capabilities (i.e., improving communication techniques and building supportive relationships), you can help transform how testing activities are perceived and help stakeholders understand how testing objectives align with overall project goals. Marcia offers guidance on assessing your current communication skills—what you do well and what needs to improve—and tactics for enhancing your skills and the skills of your team.

Marcia Buzzella

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