Unfortunately, many retrospectives are not productive. It may be that the discussions are unfocused, not enough data was gathered to be helpful for analysis, or the team concentrates too much on issues they can’t control. Retrospectives should be a key part of an agile process for helping the team improve. Here are five tips that will help you have more valuable retrospectives.
Experimentation is a great way to unleash creativity, continuously improve, and see what works and what doesn't. When a team was tossing around the idea of doing daily retrospectives, agile coach Ben Kopel decided to guide them through some iterations on the process. Here, he talks about what the team did and what they gained from both the retrospectives and the quick feedback from experimenting.
When you're working on a project and are presented with a big story or requirement, resist the urge to treat it as a single piece of work. One of the principles of the Agile Manifesto is to deliver working software frequently. This allows you to learn from what you built and make adjustments. See if you can break down the request and find a small piece of work within the big.
Much like in pair programming, working with a partner through pair writing provides increased support and valuable immediate feedback. But there are additional obstacles when you and your partner are not collocated. Here are some tips on how you can still implement pair writing successfully when you can't collaborate in person.
Naomi Karten shares how to ask the questions that ensure you and your customer are on the same page. Her tips include: 1) guard against conflicting interpretations; 2) don't jump to conclusions; 3) gather feedback early and often; 4) examine your rules for commenting; 5) conduct congruent questioning; and 6) find out what's important to your customers.
In this interview, Neeraj Tripathi, vice president of Global QA at Infor, goes over the principles of effective software quality management. He explains how to measure customer satisfaction and how active QA involvement eliminates defects early and shifts quality left.