What makes a “good” story

This morning I received an email that asked how a team will know their stories are good enough? This question is one that frequently comes up in classes, and the right answer (of course) is “it depends”, which probably doesn’t help you much. So – what does it depend on?  Here are my thoughts … .
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Non allegiance

Anyone who has attended a Software Education course will be familiar with the most common answer we give to questions:  ”It depends”.  (We do then try to provide a context for what it depends on). We are strong supporters of the context driven approach to all aspects of software engineering – there…
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What to look for in system testing

Previous readers of this blog will have noticed the intellectual firepower and sheer passion of the contributors who share their views on testing. They will also have noticed the blatant and shameful lack of authority with which one contributor (me) replies to questions and issues around…
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Lessons learned in software testing – an experience report

In the google group Software Testers New Zealand, a discussion thread was posted about testers favourite testing books. One of the main books mentioned is Lessons learned in software testing. Cynthia, a tester based in Auckland New Zealand wrote this great experience report using the book Lesson…
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What actually happens on an Agile Project – part 1

I have frequently been asked about how work actually changes on an Agile project. Here is the first part of what I hope will become a detailed examination of what actually goes on inside an Agile project: I’ve been working with a team at a company in New Zealand recently, mentoring and coaching…
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An Agile Maturity Model?

Yesterday (perhaps not by coincidence) Scott Ambler published an article in Dr Dobbs Journal titled The Agile Maturity Model In the article he offers five levels of “maturity” that organisations and teams go through as they move from blind faith acceptance of Agile mantras through to considered…
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Testing in Agile – seperate or integrated?

I’ve been thinking about how to organise testing within an iteration. The challenge is that activities within an iteration are particularly related to a specific story. However, there are aspects of testing that are larger than a single story (e. g. integration testing). There are testing activitie…
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The power of the BA

I was doing some spring cleaning recently and I started reading some old material I was meant to be filing (I am not a very efficient spring cleaner). I came across some of my notes on power, politics and negotiation in organisations.  Some of the main sources of power were: Being the “locus of…
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Emergent requirements in Civil Engineering

I often talk about how requirements emerge in software projects – how we initially express what we think is needed and over time the real understanding comes to light.   This approach is so common because so much of what we do in software projects is exploration – we don’t know what we don’t know…
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Top 10 exam tips

As Knowledge Engineers who work with people who are aiming for certification we often find people asking how to best do exams. This is really interesting! As established professionals in a field, it can be years since people have done an exam, so sometimes the exam can seem daunting and scary. So…
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Some holiday reading – what happens to testers on Agile projects

Once again I was talking to a client about the wonders of Agile project management when they revealed that their biggest need was improve the effectiveness of testing. I am not sure if it is because testing is where the symptoms of many different problems are highlighted or if it is because testing…
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Don’t let your buglets escape!

I caught up with an Agile team this week and learned a new word: buglet.   We were discussing how the move to Agile methods has improved the quality of their products – the test lead pointed out that they have found and fixed a total of 8 defects so far in the project, previously there would have…
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