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Monthly Archives: October 2017

4 Strategies for a Structured QA Process

Quality assurance (QA) is the job that never ends, and identifying bugs is just one part of the job. In fact, QA is so important that it can benefit from some uniform structure. In an article for AgileConnection, Praveena Ramakrishnan discusses some smart practices for a reliable and structured QA process: Review design and architectural documents. Research past defects. Triage the defects. Go beyond the reported issue. Defect Disposal You could just dive straight into …

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The Hidden Complexity in Software Projects

Software developer Kannan Chandrasegaran asks us to think of software applications as onions: There are always multiple layers to their complexity. Lack of appreciation for these layers can be one way that project requirements balloon way beyond expectations. In a post for The Startup, Chandrasegaran explore this phenomenon in depth and at length. Complex by Design He begins with an example for a hypothetical app that helps people buy and sell books. At the very …

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How Programmers and Testers Should Collaborate on User Stories

What does a tester do when there is not enough to test? What does a programmer do when the programming is done for the sprint? These are serious, difficult questions for new, immature teams. In a post for Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn shares strategies that will remove these problems from affecting your team in the first place. Genuine Collaboration The wrong way to collaborate on user stories is for a programmer to totally whip …

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Project Teams Need to Overcome Their Fear of Coding

The point of good planning is to do the right thing the first time around, thus avoiding waste or rework. But sometimes a valuable part of planning is… to do a bit of work first. In an article for AgileConnection, Allan Key addresses what he sees as a “fear of coding” in project planning, and it is getting in the way of making better plans. #NoCoding Key shares a scenario in which he was recently …

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Find Agile Metrics That Tell the Whole Story

As of 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched an ongoing initiative to transform its technology acquisition and oversight process to become more agile. Toward that end, DHS CTO Michael Hermus explains that they have had to establish two different types of metrics. They have sought to establish metrics to measure how well individual development programs are doing, and metrics to measure the overall impact of agile transformation to the department. In …

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Confronting Legacy Applications with Agile

Putting together an agile team to break ground on a new technology is exciting and adventurous. Sending in an agile team to address a legacy application and its mountain of technical debt is decidedly less riveting. But somebody has to do it, and anything worth doing is worth doing right. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Marcello Rossi describes the right approach to take with legacy applications in agile. Exploring the Ruins Rossi emphasizes the …

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Why Not to Extend a Sprint

In an ideal scenario, setting a bold deadline will inspire bold results, where a team works extra hard and intelligently to get work done in a small timeframe. But more often, bold deadlines result in missed deadlines. Scrum is aimed at getting away from such issues. Unlike waterfall projects, where too much investment has been made in a project to deliver less than “everything at once,” a scrum project can deliver in reliable, functional increments. …

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Overproduction Is the Death of Productivity

In a post at his blog, John Yorke makes a hard condemnation of “overproduction” and its prevalence in the workplace. Overproduction is any work that does not produce business value. Gold-plating—the act of building additional product features beyond the required scope—is perhaps the most blatant sort of overproduction, but it is only one type. It also crops up in more insidious ways. Speeding into a Brick Wall Chiefly, the other place where overproduction occurs is …

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Agile IT Delivery: Imperatives for Government Success

Most businesses have finally come to embrace agile warmly. But, well, the government always does things at its own “special” pace. Government agencies could use a helping hand in wrapping their heads around agile and how to make the best of it. Toward that end, Accenture and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) have partnered to produce a white paper on the imperatives for government agile success. Planning for Speed The white …

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Agile Coaching: It’s Not All about What’s Wrong

Good agile coaches guide teams toward agile success without too much handholding. But in truth, most of that guidance—with or without handholding—is directed toward getting people to stop doing all the “wrong” things. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Arthur Moore makes the important point that focusing on the right things can be equally valuable for setting up an agile team for success. Right Is Right By instilling scrum or any other form of agile …

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