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An Agile Tuesday

Today was a good day at the conference.   It started with the Keynote by Alistair Cockburn, in which he “came to bury Agile, not to praise it” – adapting Shakespear’s words to poignant effect.   The thrust of his talk is that it is time to get past Agile as a separate movement, the good practice…
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If it’s Monday this must be Chicago

Hi from the (other) Windy City.   I have had the weekend to recover from the travel shock (AKA jetlag) and see some of this great city.   Chicago is a really beautiful city – fascinating architecture and very friendly people. To work you say – we don’t want to hear about your travels! Day one of the…
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“Agile” Is much more than a software development process

I’m not at all sure that I know what Agile / Agility is.   I think it has its roots in software development approaches including Extreme Programming, which I think I first heard about more than a decade ago.   Does anyone remember the even older RAD or RIP or JAD from the 1980s?  The idea, then, wa…
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How do your requirements smell?

While delivering the Business Systems Analysis course today one of the participants asked about the FRUEMP acronym (ISO standard 9126: Functionality, Reliability, Usability, Efficency, Maintainability, Portability) for requirements types – he suggested PERFUMe instead, which brings to mind the…
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Changes to the Business Analyst role

With the rise in the take-up of the Agile approaches, one of the most common areas of confusion is the changing role of the business analyst.   I feel that the fundamental nature of the role doesn’t change – ensuring the customer voice is heard and business value is protected. The the way we do…
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High performance teams emerge

Something that came across to me last week when delivering a suite of Agile courses is how high-performance teams emerge.  One day of the course covers the identification of requirements as stories; to help make it real we used two actual projects that the customer is about to start.   They are the…
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Common testing issues

What are the key things that we find are issues for software testing? How can we address these problems? In my experience we usually have a solution to most of the problems – we just need to identify the problems and then we can workshop the solutions! Here is my top 10 problems:1. late delivery of…
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Don’t start until you know when you’ll be finished!

One of the best articles on project management I’ve come across over the last couple of years is this one from CIO magazine. The author makes some great points about making sure you understand what the project sponsor will measure success by.   He makes the distinction between a project that build…
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Agile (note the big A) versus agile (note the small a)

I picked this one up several years at one of Software Education’s  Software Development Conferences.   I think it might have been Steve Mellor who said the worst thing to happen to agile was when it was re-spelled Agile. I think that “agile” (note the small a) is the application of the commonsense…
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Testing is NOT Quality Assurance!

Time after time we see testing referred to as Quality Assurance – indeed I read an article lately that said that the ISTQB definition of testing is essentially quality assurance (IEEE Software July/August 2009 – Reach for Standards, Good Ones by B. Meyer). I find this fascinating as it is one of…
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More on Agile and “failure”

I agree wholeheartedly with the points raised by several people about the definition of project failure.   I think it is commonsense to cancel a project once it is realised that the business case is poor or unrealisable. A significant question to ask is, “How often is the business case expressed in…
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With freedom comes great responsibility

Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: “With great power comes great responsibility. ” This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spiderman. As with Peter Parker, I see the same holding true with Agile testing. I was recently delivered a course on Agile testing and I…
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