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Go For The Low Hanging Fruit!

As professionals, we are always looking for ways to improve the way we work. We encounter ideas and methods that we start to implement, but often we fail. Does this sound familiar to you? How should you avoid this? You should focus on implementing the changes that have the highest benefit versus effort ratio for you and your team, or as the title of this article puts it, the low hanging fruit. To facilitate this, we suggest the following steps: Make a change backlog, Find your low hanging fruit, Establish a raiding party, Establish a success story, Go to war, Celebrate! And Start over.

Odd Martin Solem's picture Odd Martin Solem
RailsEdge 2007 - Dave Thomas - Monoculture, Music and Erlang...Oh My

One of the many wonderful things about agile is the number of areas that it can be expanded to, or introduced to, with just as much success as traditional software development. This podcast features a conversation between Bob Payne and Dave Thomas as they discuss everything from software to art.

Bob Payne's picture Bob Payne
Looks Do Matter

In a previous article published on this site, "Testing the Bold and the Beautiful" (May 2001), the author received many thoughtful comments and questions about the importance of aesthetics in software. This paper was inspired in part from those questions. It clarifies the difference between aesthetic testing and usability testing. The paper makes the business case for "beauty testing" and argues that an ugly UI can undermine the bottom line. It offers methods and a survey-template for successful aesthetic testing. The paper concludes with a list of "Facts and Myths, Dos and Don'ts."

Yogita Sahoo's picture Yogita Sahoo
The Three C's of Distributed Scrum Teams: Communications, Communications, Communications

The 3C's of a great Scrum meeting comes down to communication, communication, and communication. This becomes more pronounced as a team becomes distributed. Distribution can be on the other side of the floor or the other side of the globe. Balance in communications methods is the key

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Transitioning to Agile in Onshore-Offshore Distributed Teams

Whether you are concerned that your job is going to be shipped to India or feeling safe that the outsourcing craze is calming down, the reality remains that we live in a global economy and more and more companies are beginning to explore ways to creating software in distributed and multicultural environments. The Web and the open source movement have demonstrated that it is not only possible to create quality software in a highly distributed and decentralized manner, but also that it "makes business sense" to do so. This article presents a pragmatic framework for introducing Agile practices and tools to onshore-offshore distributed teams.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Case Studies On Bringing Agility to Offshore Software Development

In order to stay competitive, IT companies integrate offshoring and outsourcing in their corporate strategies. When these strategies are implemented it is often found that offshoring is full of challenges and much more difficult than expected. This article suggests that the challenges of offshore software development can be met by using agile values, principles, and practices. First the article will present some of the challenges in offshore development, then it will investigate how agile principles and practices have helped offshore development in becoming more competitive by eliminating the challenges usually found in traditional offshore development. However due to the added distance it was found that agile development will run into new challenges. Some challenges, such as time zones, are hard to meet and will impede direct agile communication.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Simple Design and Testing Conference 2006 - Ron Jeffries and Chet Hendrickson

Ron Jeffries and Chet Hendrickson join Bob Payne in this podcast recorded at the 2006 Simple Design and Testing Conference. We invite you to take a listen to their impression of the conference as a whole, and the current state of software development and testing.

Bob Payne's picture Bob Payne
Smart Shore

In this last installment of Jochen Kreb's three-part series, he lists issues related to most offshore development projects and gives some ideas of how to implement a different shore model, which Jochen calls the smart-shore approach.

Jochen Krebs's picture Jochen Krebs
Skiing, Heart Attacks, and Software Development

When a man suffered a cardiac arrest on a ski slope, a medley of medical personnel from different countries and backgrounds mustered together to take charge of the man's health. Despite language barriers, they were successful in stabilizing the man. While this incident may seem to have little to do with software development, Clarke Ching sees that the makeshift emergency team shared specific characteristics found in all strong software development teams. In this column, he details these characteristics and how applying them can turn your team into a more successful team no matter how dissimilar individual teammates may be.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Agile06 - Alistair Cockburn - Crystal Methodlogies and Agility

During the Agile 2006 conference, Bob Payne got the chance to sit down with Alistair Cockburn and the two recorded this podcast of their conversation. Listen in as the two discuss Alistair's own transition to an agile methodologist and his passion for writing.

Bob Payne's picture Bob Payne


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