Process Improvement doesn’t happen by Magic

Background Agile and Scrum has many upsides over waterfall.  Focus on the backlog, customer involvement, ability to change, and team synergy are among the list of improvements that Agile brings to the table.  Unfortunately, Agile does have a few dark sides.  I mentioned the potential testing issues in a previous article, but there is another. […]

Do Your Teams Thrive on Chaos?

Politics and power struggles are unfortunately a way of life in large organizations.  Anything that threatens the existing power structure can become a focal point for this energy.   Agile and lean development represent those threatening changes for many people. While there are hundreds of potential reasons that someone may resist Agile development, I think the most common […]

Brooks’ Law and Kanban

Fred Brooks wrote a seminal book titled “The Mythical Man Month” in the 1960s.  This book chronicled the challenges that IBM faced developing the operating system for their 360 family of computers.  In simple form, Brooks’ law is: “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later” – Fred Brooks Many managers, frustrated by […]

Planning an Agile Migration

OK, so you’ve read the books, been to some conferences, talked to some experts, and now you’re ready to start migrating.  If you are migrating one team you may be able to identify a scrum master, toss a book into the team room, put up a cardboard story board, and check back in a month.   Larger enterprise […]

Where do you run tests in Scrum?

The decision on what types of tests to run within a sprint is the subject of much debate within the Agile community and organizations implementing Scrum.  The methodology supports writing acceptance criteria for each unit of work (story) that defines when that item is “done”.  That criteria is used to create a validation plan that […]

A Model for Justifying Test Automation

DevOps and test automation are important elements of an effective software development organization.   Some organizations are having difficulty justifying the investment in test automation, particularly for legacy systems that were not automated from the beginning. This article describes some benefits and a financial model that has been used to justify investment in test automation.  I […]