There is some confusion around what agile is versus what agile methodologies are, and often people lump them together. Agile is a mindset (not a methodology) that encompasses a set of values and principles that were compiled by a group of software gurus in 2001. These values focus on customer collaboration, flexibility, a short iterative cycle, value delivery, people centricity, sustainability and simplicity, among other things. These values and principles are not to be confused with the frameworks that have been developed to assist teams in “becoming agile.”
The Hare and the Tortoise (or The Tortoise and the Hare, since that is what people told me it was called when I was young) is a fable attributed to Aesop, an ancient Greek storyteller. For those of you who are not familiar with it, a hare challenges a tortoise to a race. The hare, in his overconfidence, decides to take a nap when he gets close to the finish line. The tortoise plods along, eventually passing the hare, and wins the race. The moral of the story is: slow and steady wins the race.
There has been much controversy over whether hardening sprints are necessary or not. See our agile experts discuss the pros & cons of hardening sprints, and learn why a co-founder of agile once threatened to revoke Bob Galen’s agile badge.
More and more organizations are moving from Waterfall to Agile software development. While developers usually find the transition to be fairly easy, testers often face more difficulties. Shaun Bradshaw, Zenergy’s Agile expert, explores 5 success tips that can help testers make the transition from Waterfall to Agile more smoothly.
Increased involvement between QA teams and developers can greatly expedite testing on the technical side of things, ultimately speeding up development life cycles for faster releases. Test Expert, David Dang, explores various ways as to how QA can get more involved when working in agile.
Are you an experienced tester who has recently joined an agile team? Maybe you have testing experience but until now it has only been on traditional waterfall projects. Are you going through the motions with this new way of doing things but don’t feel like you’re completely invested? Do you even feel like you’re adding value to your team?
My friend and colleague, Shaun Bradshaw, and I were coaching recently at a client. We started to have a conversation about velocity, not directly driven by the clients’ context, but in general.
Shaun was focused on velocity as a relevant metric within agile teams to drive conversations between teams and upper management, and I was struggling to get there.
Part of his focus was to create visibility around the difference between average velocity and current sprint velocity. Furthermore, the teams and management would be able to see:
I’ve been doing more pairing lately. Much more. But, more specifically pair-coaching.
I’ve been pairing in my conference workshops and talks, quite a bit, with Mary Thorn on the agile quality and testing side of things. I’m also pairing with Josh Anderson on our Meta-cast and I’ve done a few presentations with him. Very enjoyable.
I’ve also been pairing more in my writing. For years, I’ve been a lone wolf writer. Nobody but myself saw my writing before it entered the light of day. Now, I’m learning the value of having reviewers and editors. Second opinions matter. A second set of eyes matter. Having a partner in your endeavors can be quite a bit of fun.
In my agile coaching and training journey, I spend a lot of time discussing a wide variety of topics. But certain themes form a Top 10 topics list everyone seems interested in.
One of those items is how to handle bugs. I get questions like:
Do you estimate bugs (planning poker – points)?
Are bugs equivalent to stories?
When do you file a bug while sprinting?
Do you count bugs as part of your velocity?
Can you deliver a story in a sprint with bugs still open?
A few years back I was coaching a large group of Scrum teams at an email marketing SaaS firm. The group had been practicing Scrum for over four years and had become a high-performance agile organization. Most of my efforts focused on fine-tuning from the perspective of an external set of eyes. Working with this organization and its development teams was a privilege.