Articles

Man holding a lit light bulb How to Get Value from Measuring Agile Team Health Metrics

One common metric in agile measures team health or team happiness, but creating a way to measure this that is valued by the team is not an easy task. It’s having clarity on the reason you’re measuring these metrics and who benefits from it that gives you real value. Here are some ways you can measure this elusive quality, as well as how to make sure you're gaining useful information.

Vic Bartash's picture Vic Bartash
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's picture 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's picture 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's picture Leanne Howard

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's picture 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's picture 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's picture 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's picture Jun Zhuang

Interviews

8 Ways to Ruin Your One-on-Ones: An Interview with Jason Wick
Video

In this interview, Jason Wick, senior manager at MakeMusic, discusses his STAREAST presentation about eight ways you could be making your one-on-one meetings completely useless. He discusses in depth what he feels is the number one way to ruin these meetings: holding back on feedback. He also offers advice on how you can educate your team leader to avoid the pitfalls that lead to ineffective one-on-ones.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
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's picture 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's picture Jonathan Vanian

Conference Presentations

STAREAST The Reality Distortion Field of Testing
Slideshow

The reality distortion field (RDF) is a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Computers in 1981 to describe Steve Job's charisma and its effect on the developers working on the Macintosh project. The RDF was said to be Steve Job's ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, bravado, marketing, appeasement, and persistence. The RDF warps an audience's sense of proportion for difficulties and makes them believe that any task is possible. When it comes to testing, we have this RDF all around us, with managers saying things like, "We can and should automate everything," "We can be much more effective and productive when we work on multiple projects," "We need to provide lots of evidence to demonstrate the thoroughness of our testing," "Testers need to become developers," and so forth.

Lloyd Roden
Agile DevOps East Agile Distributed Teams: Oxymoron or Viable Option?
Slideshow

Many surveys indicate that more teams work in distributed environments. But agile approaches work best when people collocate, huddle around a problem, and closely collaborate on the best solutions that will deliver value. Is collocation the only option these days? Does distributed always imply “dysfunctional”? Does technology help or hinder? Maybe the problem is how we think about the working environment. Mark Kilby will share key principles of successful distributed agile teams that help define better working environments. Understand how the principles apply to different types of distributed teams, and discover how agile practices change in distributed teams and how they may vary from team to team. You'll take back ways to assess your current distributed team environment and generate ideas for improvement.

Mark Kilby
STARCANADA Why Military Veterans Make Exceptional Testers
Slideshow

Hiring trained talent has been a challenge for IT organizations for several years now. How do you find a steady source of qualified candidates for entry-level QA and QE positions, especially considering colleges and universities don't include a software quality assurance curriculum?...

Brenda Hall
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

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