Articles published in 2012

Scrum and STARS

Scrum and STARS

Teamwork is one of the foundations of Scrum. Scrum includes a number of principles and practices that promote working as a team, including team autonomy, self-organization, no explicit manager role, and everyone being called team members (i.e., n...

Doing Agile with Pairing

Doing Agile with Pairing

One of the most important and commonly ignored practices of Agile is pair programming. Under the exciting cloud of planning, Scrums, sprints, backlogs, and demos, organizations tend to ignore the importance of the pair-programming princi...

Matching Cultures in Outsourcing

Matching Cultures in Outsourcing

Introduction I've collected experiences and observations from serving in two organizations that provide outsourcing services for software companies based in the U.S. My involvement in these organizations has allowed me to be part of more than ten...

Full Circle: From Generalist to Specialist and Back

Full Circle: From Generalist to Specialist and Back

I started in the IT industry back in the early 1990s, working for Ford Company in the U.K. Since then I've observed with interest the trends in the skill set required to be successful in our industry. Looking back, I realize I was extremely fortu...

The Flexible Definition of Done

The Flexible Definition of Done

Software projects always take place in an organizational context, and their objectives are in line with organizational goals. Similarly, the sprints that build a project's road map need to have goals that are in line with those of the projects. T...

The RACI+F Matrix

The RACI+F Matrix

We can all agree that shared responsibilities are important on a project, but we should also have clear accountability. Someone must ultimately be answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable, and that should be a unique i...

How to Use the Daily Stand-up Meeting Effectively

How to Use the Daily Stand-up Meeting Effectively

Daily stand-up meetings play an important role in the success of Scrum process-based projects. Most of us know this, and we know how they "should" be conducted. Yet, time and again, I see these meetings go astray. Here I hope to review the problem...

PURIFF: Scoping the Sprint Tests

PURIFF: Scoping the Sprint Tests

In Scrum, each sprint produces an increment, which is a partial and potentially releasable product. To be releasable, the increment must meet all acceptance criteria and pass different categories of tests. Consequently, each sprint should consider all testing activities required for a releasable product. Unfortunately, during my work on different projects, I have observed that many teams focus only on a subset of testing activities during the sprint.

Testing in Scrum with a Waterfall Interaction

Testing in Scrum with a Waterfall Interaction

Sometimes, when testing user stories in Scrum, there's a final Waterfall interaction to deal with. The scenario I present here is based on this situation: a Scrum process with an interaction of sequential phases at the end of the process to (re)test the whole developed functionality. These sequential phases are mandatory for our organization, which follows a Waterfall process for the releases of the product. So, for the moment at least, we have to deal with this — and my experience is that we aren't alone.

Applying Agile in a Mixed-Feature Development and SLA-Bound Bug-Fixing Team

Applying Agile in a Mixed-Feature Development and SLA-Bound Bug-Fixing Team

Note: This article is based on a Scrum Alliance Google groups thread called "How to apply scrum in a mixed feature development and SLA-bou[n]d bug fixing team." I have compiled most of the solutions that were provided in the thread. Not all parts ...

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