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Red highway sign saying "Wrong Way" Warning Signs That Your Agile Effort Has Lost Its Focus[article]

Agile should be about using tailored practices, techniques, tools, and team organizations that fully align to your business context. But the world of cookie-cutter solutions strongly influences businesses and their IT teams to follow their one-size-fits-all frameworks, methods, and tools. Such an approach often introduces many risks, so beware of the following symptoms that may indicate that your agile team has gone astray.

Anil Rao
Be Indispensable: Cross-Train like a Testing Athlete Be Indispensable: Cross-Train like a Testing Athlete[magazine]

Stretching your skills and preparing for organizational and work-related change is vital for any QA tester. Your best approach is to work on complementing your skills and competencies.

Bonnie Bailey
Finding Microefficiencies in Agile Practices: An Interview with Melissa Tondi[interview]

Melissa Tondi discusses retuning your standard agile practices to better engage the project team, enabling them to write code that will pass testing and free testers to assume the role of user advocate.

Jennifer Bonine
Using Agile and DevOps to Achieve Quality by Design Using Agile and DevOps to Achieve Quality by Design[magazine]

When software nears completion, it is the wrong time to focus on quality. Product delivery improves if you invest in a plan, validate in small increments, and focus on continuous testing.

Michael Sowers
Smiling team members holding up a trophy 7 Qualities of High-Performing Agile Teams[article]

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
QA Is More Than Being a Tester QA Is More Than Being a Tester[magazine]

QA testers often take on more of a role than just testing software code. When the team needs help, QA should lend a hand in assisting with business analysis, customer communication, user experience, and user advocacy.

Amanda Perkins
Marcia Buzzella Improving Communication and Social Skills: An Interview with Marcia Buzzella[interview]
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
Supporting Continuous Testing with Automation Supporting Continuous Testing with Automation[magazine]

Create tests that can be used in a continuous testing environment, build the right number of tests, and don’t fall victim to the mistaken belief that everything can be automated.

Bas Dijkstra
Drawing of a person ascending stairs Continuous Improvement Activities beyond the Retrospective[article]

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
Hand holding up a small globe 3 Ways Distributed Design Teams Can Stay Agile[article]

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
All Customers Are Not Created Equal All Customers Are Not Created Equal[magazine]

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
Cover of the Summer 2018 issue of Better Software magazine Great Big Agile: An OS for Agile Leaders[magazine]

Following agile ceremonies may make an organization feel good, but that’s only a start. “Great big agile” requires leadership at all levels to focus on self-organization and empowerment as a universal framework.

Jeff Dalton
Circle with arrows showing a continuous process Continuous Digital: A New Mindset for New Work[article]

Large companies traditionally have run software development projects so that after delivery, the project finished and the team dissolved. In the digital age, one might think the experience of running and delivering projects would be an advantage, but the legacy mindset and practices of corporate IT projects are actually a hindrance. Digital work needs to be ongoing, which requires a different management approach.

Allan Kelly
Gene Gotimer Understanding the Role of QA in DevOps: An Interview with Gene Gotimer[interview]
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
A coach training a baseball player What Kind of Agile Coach Should I Hire?[article]

Having your organization make the mental shift necessary to adopt agile is the first important step in an agile transformation. But once you decide you want to change, now what? Should you attempt your agile adoption yourselves or hire an expert? Joel Bancroft-Connors details the benefits and downsides of going it alone and of using contract, consultant, and full-time agile coaches so you can decide what's best for you.

Joel Bancroft-Connors

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