Articles

A pile of documents Slim Down Your Test Plan Documentation

Test plans are essential for communicating intent and requirements for testing efforts, but excessive documentation creates confusion—or just goes unread. Try the 5W2H method. The name comes from the seven questions you ask: why, what, where, when, who, how, and how much. That's all you need to provide valuable feedback and develop a sufficient plan of action.

László Szegedi's picture László Szegedi
Man surrounded by sticky notes Streamline Your Agile Requirements by Avoiding Bloated Backlogs

In agile development, a bloated backlog results from teams accumulating huge lists of requirements, usually in the form of user stories. Retaining every possible story for building the product weighs down the backlog while squeezing (or obscuring) the highest-value stories. The best way to help minimize this risk is to optimize the time spent defining and refining the product priorities.

Michelina DiNunno's picture Michelina DiNunno
user story card Simplify Your User Stories: Make Them Independent

Writing independent user stories seems simple, but it is actually difficult to do well. There are often parts of some stories that are dependent on other stories' functionalities, so it's not easy to keep them separated. Kris Hatcher relates how his team wrote and scored stories to keep them independent but still meeting acceptance criteria.

Kris Hatcher's picture Kris Hatcher
shark Estimating Business Value in the Shark Tank

You can use analytical methods to assign business value to a user story, of course, but another way is simple estimation. Allan Kelly describes an estimation exercise that combines the Scrum tool of planning poker with a TV show format to add some fun. You end up with enlightening conversation and revealed requirements.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly

Better Software Magazine Articles

Cross Platform Development 10 Lessons Learned in Cross-Platform Development

Building an app for a single platform is difficult, but designing, implementing, and testing an app targeting multiple operating system platforms can be next to impossible. The secret balances upfront design with customer feedback.

Dewey Hou's picture Dewey Hou
Requirements Reuse: Fantasy or Feasible?

Software development teams think nothing about reusing code, but what about requirements? The benefits include faster delivery, lower development costs, consistency across and within applications, fewer defects, and reduced rework.

Karl E. Wiegers's picture Karl E. Wiegers Joy Beatty
Lessons Learned from Ancient Wisdom: A Software Review Story

Lessons learned long ago from reviews and inspection can be effective today, particularly in collaboration within agile teams. Learn how an organization used review techniques as part of its agile collaboration, including the advantages and potential problems of this ancient wisdom.

Dorothy Graham's picture Dorothy Graham Robert Sabourin
Simplicity and Precision: Test Planning in Agile Projects

Test planning is often thought unnecessary in an agile project. However, if our mindset is on "planning" rather than "plans," we see that test-planning activities happen throughout the project, taking advantage of levels of precision, i.e., what is absolutely necessary at each level.

Janet Gregory's picture Janet Gregory

Interviews

The Essential Product Owner—Championing Successful Products: An Interview with Ellen Gottesdiener
Video

In this interview, Ellen Gottesdiener talks about her presentation at Agile Development Conference and Better Software Conference West 2014, the importance of having context for requirements, good ways to set value considerations for requirements, and the common mistakes of product owners.

Application lifecycle management expert Stefano Rizzo Leverage Social Media for Requirements Gathering: An Interview with Stefano Rizzo
Podcast

Stefano Rizzo introduces the idea of using social media to encourage customers to get involved in the requirements gathering process. Learn how by introducing something that your customers are already contributing towards, you can capture the mood behind their true wants and needs.

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst
Tim Lister Responsibly "Right" Requirements: An Interview with Tim Lister
Video

Tim Lister explains how getting the right requirements the first time from your stakeholders may not be easy, but it can be done, and it's worth the effort. Learn how with clear expectations, communication, and integral development, products can be delivered on time and to everyone's satisfaction.

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst
Traceability's Priceless Role in Agile: An Interview with William Gens

William Gens sits down with Noel Wurst to describe "the art and science of traceability" ahead of his STAREAST session of the same name. Learn what makes traceability meaningful and such a valuable asset to projects, no matter how bad the requirements may seem to be.

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst

Conference Presentations

STARWEST Testing Get Involved Early: A Tester’s Experience with Requirements
Slideshow

Although requirements provide valuable information that informs and shapes testing, sometimes the information provided is incomplete or unclear. Join Julie Lebo as she shares her experience with requirements engineering and how she has integrated her testing group into the requirement...

Julie Lebo
Agile DevOps Storytelling Techniques for Better Requirements
Slideshow

Do you struggle with making your ideas clear and understandable to others? Does it annoy you to sit in requirements sessions for hours only to leave with more questions than answers? As human beings, we’re made for storytelling. It is a natural form of communication. So, Jeff Howey...

Jeff Howey
Agile DevOps RAMP: Requirements Authors Mentoring Program
Slideshow

Industry data indicates that untrained and inexperienced requirements authors commonly inject thirty to fifty major defects per page of text. With many requirements specifications reaching several hundred pages, potentially thousands of defects are injected into the software development...

John Terzakis
Agile DevOps Improv(e) Your Requirements
Slideshow

Improvisational comedy—sometimes called improv—is a form of theater in which the performance is created spontaneously, in the moment. Successful improvisers learn and use a variety of skills and techniques which allow them to better extract ideas, expand on them, and make them meaningful...

Damian Synadinos

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