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…
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 the…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Pair testing isn’t new and in fact, it has a more well-known cousin in Pair programming. What it does well is that it allows for two different sets of eyes testing the product. Essentially one is the *driver* and drives the keyboard whilst the other is the *observer* or *navigator* (I prefer…
I have recently been working with some Agile teams who were struggling to deliver their planned velocity.   Stories were identified and estimated, elaborated and planned and the team started work only to discover that no matter how carefully they planned they were unable to deliver value at the rate…
In Q1 this year Forrester Research conducted a survey of organisations to gauge the uptake of Agile methods.   The results: approx 30% of organisations today say they are using Agile methods, up from 8-10% 2 years ago. Chris West from Forrester presented the results at the recent HP Virtual…
After Alistair Cockburn’s opening keynote address at Agile 2009 “I’ve Come to Bury Agile”, I’ve been thinking even more about the evolution of organizational ideas. This topic piques my interest on a recurring basis, so this time I thought I’d see what I could find out about organizational…


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