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project portfolio chart No: Such a Difficult Word[article]

When people begin to get overworked, it's common to fall back on blaming the old chestnut "time management." But the problem may have less to do with how you allocate time to projects than your inability to say no to some of those projects in the first place. In this article, Johanna Rothman takes a look at the difficulty of saying no and offers some suggestions for overcoming it.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
How Agile Practices Reduce the Top 5 Requirements Risks[magazine]

Requirements risks are among the most insidious risks threatening software projects. Whether it is having unclear requirements, lack of customer involvement in requirements development, or defective requirements, these troubles are a major culprit in projects that go awry. As requirements expert and agile coach Ellen Gottesdiener explains, agile practice can go a long way in mitigating the top five requirements risks.

Ellen Gottesdiener's picture Ellen Gottesdiener
Adapting Inspections to the Twenty-first Century[magazine]

How do you adapt inspections to a twenty-first century distributed workforce? A key part of the inspection process is the team meeting, which provides peer pressure to participate and consensus on defects. Teams working in multiple time zones have limited opportunities for the team meeting. A list of requirements and the functions needed to solve this problem based on real-world experiences should help anyone faced with this problem.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
Predicting the Past[magazine]

Developing an accurate prediction process is complex, time consuming, and difficult. But, basing predictions on causality rather than correlation and learning how to "predict the past" can help us gain confidence in the validity of our work.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
That's No Reason to Automate![magazine]

Automating test execution is supposed to give tremendous benefits, but often gives disappointing results—because it hasn’t met the objectives set for it. The fault may not lie with the automation itself, but with the objectives you are attempting to achieve. Aiming at the wrong target does not bring success! For example, objectives for automation are often confused with objectives for testing, but they should be different. In this article, learn how to avoid the most insidious traps and how to recognize good objectives for automation.

Feel the Burn: Getting the Most Out of Burn Charts[magazine]

Burn-down charts have become a popular project artifact, but too often, people accept the default chart from whatever project management tool they're using. What choices can we make about the chart format and scale that will help us create charts that answer the questions that are really important to us? And when the chart looks "funny," what could it possible mean?

George Dinwiddie's picture George Dinwiddie
Software to Go: Developing Applications for a Wireless World[magazine]

The mobile arena is in constant evolution, changing the way we approach software development both from a business and a technical perspective. Taking the time to set your plan can make the difference between success and just a good idea. In this article, Luis Carvalho shares some guidelines for bringing new applications into the mobile ecosystem.

Luis Miguel  Carvalho's picture Luis Miguel Carvalho
Avoiding Half-baked Discovery[magazine]

It can be difficult to explain to your customer why cutting half of the features doesn't cut half of the time and cost. Every software project has fixed costs that often get overlooked in project planning—setting up development environments, ramp-up, building frameworks, and setting up configuration management to name a few. Read on for some ideas on how you can position this with your customer.

Didier Thizy's picture Didier Thizy
Testing the Contract Metaphor[magazine]

A contract represents a service agreement between two parties, the bounded provision of service by one party to the other. This metaphor also applies to how we can think about the relationship between unit tests and code. A contractual mindset encourages test names and partitioning based on clear propositions, backed up with executable examples.

Kevlin Henney's picture Kevlin Henney
How Agile Practices Reduce Requirements Risks[article]

Requirements risks are among the most insidious risks threatening software projects. Whether it is having unclear requirements, lack of customer involvement in requirements development, or defective requirements, these troubles are a major culprit in projects that go awry. As requirements expert and agile coach Ellen Gottesdiener explains, agile practice can go a long way in mitigating those risks.

Ellen Gottesdiener's picture Ellen Gottesdiener
pyramid decribing dependency of concerns in software UI Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder[article]

As a user experience design specialist, clients often ask Jeff Patton to make their software "look better," so it can be successful. But when clients focus primarily on aesthetics, they're often addressing the wrong thing. In this column, Jeff takes a look at common user interface (UI) mistakes and the key concerns software development teams should address to build successful UIs.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Principles for managing a Scrum-based Agile Program[article]

Agile project management philosophy, though not very different from the traditional management practices and framework, needs to be rationalized to suit the demands of the agile methodologies. The project management practice remains the same for requirements, planning, initiating and tracking the progress of the project in line with the business vision. However, the focus is more on adaptability towards changing requirements, team work, collaboration and the ability to plan and deliver small chunks of useable software in short intervals of time

Anonymous's picture Anonymous
Postmodernism in Software Development [article]

Recent history has ushered in the postmodern era in all its fragmented glory. With its arrival comes the displacement of the absolute, the certain, and all that characterizes the modern age. Along with changes in art, politics, and philosophy— there are reverberations in business and technology. The societal shift from Modernism to Postmodernism mirrors and reinforces a shift in software development from traditional waterfall to non-linear Agile methods.

Ryan  Fogarty's picture Ryan Fogarty
Timing Matters in Managing Change[article]

Implementing change can be a colossal challenge. People tend to prefer what's familiar, safe, and predictable to that which is new, unfamiliar, uncertain, confusing, or potentially risky. But the timing of a change effort can influence how readily people accept the change and adjust to it.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
When is Open Source not Enough?[article]

Open source CI tools have been immensely popular, but are they the perfect fit for your operation? Answer these seven questions to quickly assess if you should upgrade to an enterprise-class CI environment.

Anders  Wallgren's picture Anders Wallgren

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