Integrating Test Activities in Agile Projects

People not working in agile sometimes have the impression that agile projects are chaotic, disorganized, and uncontrolled. Indeed, if discipline and structure are really lacking, an agile project will deliver poor quality software or will not deliver at all!
A proven approach to measure quality is product testing. However, both the Agile Manifesto [1] and Schwaber and Sutherland’s Definitive Guide to Scrum [2] leave few clues on how to do that.
After addressing the lack of concrete steps on testing in agile and Scrum approaches, we describe our vision for agile testing, followed by suggestions for effectively integrating test activities into the Scrum approach.

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Agile Testing: where does the community meet?

The “agile era” began in February 2001, high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah (USA), with the creation of the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development”. Seventeen software professionals were involved in deciding upon principles and values that should serve to improve the software development community.

Agile Testing Days 2013 logoThese ideas immediately trickled quickly from the mountains into the valleys of the USA, and it was not long until the trend of agile thinking began to enter the workplaces of Europe, especially throughout Germany. What began as “agile hype” or “the agile movement” is now known after twelve years as the “agile lifestyle”. This agile lifestyle is today not only practiced in the software industry, but also in many other industries across the globe.

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Increasing the Effectiveness of Stand-up Meetings

Regularly conducting project meetings is an accepted best practice, as it brings team members together face-to-face, increasing collaboration and indirectly achieving mutual support. It is during meetings that team members have an opportunity to get the holistic view of what is going on beyond their own deadlines and deliverables. Daily team meetings increase the level of collaboration, enhancing the intrateam support needed to achieve the common goals of project execution.

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Agile Contracting for Results: The Next Level of Agile Project Management

Agile development presents an opportunity for better agile project management that not many seem to appreciate or practice yet. The fact that we agilistas all seem to agree to 1) deliver iteratively, 2) increment the product, and 3) learn and change evolutionarily means that there is an opportunity we did not have in the days of waterfall.

This opportunity is available when the work is outsourced. Consequently, it is not considered in general agile models which focus on the development process, with the apparent assumption that work is done in-house. Please consider that the ideas here could also be applied to reward and motivate in-house teams, without a legal contract framework.

We can write the contract so that work is paid for as useful, proven results are delivered.

Why should we pay a supplier just because time has been spent on a project? Why not pay only for real delivery of useful results?

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Two Locations, One Office

Ein Team Ein Office (ETEO) is a concept for agile software development within distributed teams addressing the problems caused by the wide dispersal of team members. It creates a virtual project room, giving the team the impression they are all sitting within close proximity – so much so, in fact, that they can ask each other questions spontaneously. In addition, a digital Scrumboard custom-made for distributed team work further supports agile processes.

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Do You Cycle or Swim?

Communication and coordination are among the most challenging areas when working with geographically distributed teams spread across different time zones, countries, and cultures. Though English is spoken in several countries, usage and accent differ from country to country. Do you find it difficult to communicate and coordinate with geographically distributed teams or customers? Do you find it hard to decipher their accent or pronunciation? Are your team members going through these issues? If yes, this article is for you!

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Distributed Agile Teams: The ART of the START

I’ve been sharing about agile methods for over ten years at conferences and workshops. One of the top three questions I always receive from attendees is:

Does agile work with distributed teams?

And sometimes the question is phrased another way:

The notion of co-located teams is nice in theory, but in real life we have team members all over the world. We need to cobble together teams based on our business needs from wherever they are. Does agile support that level of high distribution?
I often smile at the repetitiveness of the question. It indicates clearly that enterprise level software development is often distributed. It also indicates that outsourcing is still alive and well. I’ll try to provide some answers to these questions by sharing two stories of distributed teams I have experienced.

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How Scrum Changes Test Centers

Do you like agility? Do you like being celebrated like a rock star? There was once such an opportunity. You and the authors of this paper missed it. Until recently, developers lusted after tales of agile and Scrum projects. This changed as agile became the new normal for development projects and talks about Scrum mainstream. In the testing community, in contrast, Scrum brought uncertainty. Is agility the ultimate chance for developers to get rid of nasty testers? Or does agility only change job profiles? This article provides the answers.

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The Testing Conference Toolbox

 Best Practices & Inspirations When you attend a testing conference of course you get the newest updates in the world of testing tools. You will see how to improve the handling of your all time favourite testing instruments and hopefully

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