Link: Automation Testing for Agile Development

Many times, participants in Certified ScrumMaster or Certified Scrum Product Owner courses ask about automation testing for agile development.

The article which follows provides an excellent answer to one of the most popular questions. After reading it, please consider leaving a comment below.

Automation Testing For Agile Development

By Agile Zone

Agile automation testing is particularly important in the Agile development lifecycle. Agile software development involves a constant feedback loop among team members. This is in contrast to the Waterfall model of development, where software testing only begins once the development phase has been completed.

In Agile development, software testing activities are conducted from the beginning of the project. Software testing is done incrementally and iteratively. Automation testing is an extremely important part of Agile testing. After each change in the system, it is important to run a battery of automated functional and regression tests to ensure that no new defects have been introduced. Without this automation testing harness, Agile testing can become very time-consuming. This can result in insufficient test coverage. This will, in turn, affect software quality. Automation testing is necessary for the project to maintain agility. As a matter of fact, introducing automation processes such as automation builds and automation smoke tests is important in all aspects of agile development. As budgets shrink, time spent on repeatable automation testing becomes more and more necessary.

Continue reading here. 


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Link: Transitioning from Waterfall to Agile

I have yet to find a better article than this one on transitioning from Waterfall to Agile.

Transitioning From Waterfall to Agile

By Sanjay Zalavadia

Agile is designed to promote positive and functioning relationships among team members, enabling self-administered teams and team processes that address the continual consumer demand for updates and the fluctuating levels of software consumption. Teams integrate multi-talented resources into cross-functional process to boost production and inspire innovation.

Agile methodologies allow assessment of project direction throughout the entire software lifecycle. The strategy of regular iterations incentivize teams to produce potentially shippable output at the end of each incremental build, providing immediate opportunities to redirect objectives for quicker and more continuous delivery. In this way, software development can happen while requirements and analysis are occurring. Development is integrated into fact-finding through the build activity rather than strictly defined as stages of production.

 

Continue reading here.


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Link: The Solution That Fits Our Team

I recently came across an excellent article on how teams are taking the best of several Agile methods and combining them together into a solution which works in their specific environment.

The overview and description of the essence of Agile, Scrum and  Kanban is really helpful.

After you have a chance to read it please share your reflections in the comment section below.

Scrumban: The Solution That Fits My Team

by Serghei Rusu

Image title

If you have any issues with the methodology approach you have in your company, then you have probably heard these words already. That is our case as well. At a certain point in time, we felt like we were no longer facing the rapidly changing requirements that come from modern world business and that the software development methodology we had was pulling us back….

Continue reading the article here.


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Announcement: REAL agility newsletter released today!

rachelheadshot“Each week there are more and more exciting items to share with our ever-increasing newsletter subscriber list of leaders who, like you, are creating positive change in organizations across Canada.”

Rachel Perry, Content & Community Coordinator

Recently we sent out a newsletter with some really great announcements! Here is a snippet from the weekly REALagility newsletter.

“Not only do BERTEIG coaches have fantastic insights to contribute to the advancement of the Agile industry, but also our Learning Events – for CSM, CSPO, CSD, SAFe, or Leadership – in both Toronto and Vancouver – continue to expand. In addition, multiple avenues for offering encouragement and support in a variety of ways are opening up all the time.

If our weekly newsletter were to include all the news, it would be 100 pages!

Sure, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but, truth-be-told, instead of putting EVERYTHING in the newsletter we share just key highlights, along with a warm invitation to hop on over to the Agile Advice blog where more knowledge, announcements and entertaining posts can give you plenty more details than what can be expressed in a weekly communication to your inbox.

We are excited to share that last month Agile Advice was viewed 18,000 times. Not only will you find more articles posted than ever before, but you will also discover a new development on the World Mindware page on Agile Advice; detailed accounts of hundreds of positive statements about BERTEIG’s coaches who are some of the leading Agile coaches in the world.

This week we featured Agile Leadership coach, Michael Sahota, onMichael Sahota - Profile Picture (2016) Agile Advice. In September, he will be presenting training for the Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1) training in Toronto. He was the second person to receive the designation to teach this class and the first to offer the training world-wide. He will also be offering a webinar this Wednesday, 24th Aug – register here.”

If you haven’t signed up for our weekly newsletter yet, I encourage you to consider giving it a try.


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Announcement: BERTEIG is offering 80% of SAFe classes

Did you know that according to the Scaled Agile events page (http://www.scaledagile.com/event-list/) BERTEIG is offering over 80% (17/21) of SAFe classes in Canada between now and the end of 2016?  And did you know they will be offered in seven different locations?

These SAFe classes are offered in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Waterloo, Mississauga and Markham!

Scaled Agile Framework - SAFe Agiilist Logo

You can register here for upcoming course offerings.

 


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David Sabine: What Real Agility Means To Me

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“Real Agility to me means being aware of and accepting of the present, in order to respond and chart new courses for the future,” David Sabine

My name is David Sabine. I’m a Real Agility Coach and have been thinking about what Real Agility means to me.

My introduction to Real Agility began in 2007 when the CTO of the college I was working at in Fort McMurray, Alberta brought in Mishkin Berteig as a third party consultant. Back then, I was a software developer and what I experienced then is still true today. The value of bringing in a third party to solve business challenges is immeasurable.

Time and time again, as I have been involved with companies, either in a training or a consulting capacity, I have found that a third party presence provides or creates a break-through. The purpose is not that I go to a company as a consultant and I bring my new ideas, as though I am the only one with new ideas.  What happens instead is that I visit a company and my presence, as a coach, opens the door for the internal staff to explore their own new thoughts, or concepts or possible solutions. So the ideas that are already in the company are just allowed to blossom a little bit in the presence of a third party,because this third party allows or creates a sense of permission, a sense of autonomy for those staff. They’ve been invited to explore concepts and they’ve been invited to think through their business problems from a different perspective and I am there just to reflect what they already have or what they already know.

That occurred when Mishkin Berteig visited the college in 2007, and that occurs every time I go and visit a company for training or consulting.

To really understand what Real Agility means to me, I’d like to tell you about how I came to software development in the first place beginning back in 1993 when I was starting university and was a freelance musician.

I had two passions at the time: the pursuit of music and the logic of programming. My computer tended to pay the bills, more so than being a freelance musician, so as a career path I guess I was drawn to software development and started to build my own products early on in 1996-1997. I was writing software for small business clients with the aim to eventually build a product on my own and release it for sale worldwide.

In 2000, I started to develop a product with a friend of mine. In 2001 we released it to other developers in the world. Our first sale of that product was in Belgium and for the next few years it sold worldwide. We had about 2000 websites that were using our product and it was translated into seven different languages by the community of users. It provided my friend and I with a reasonable income and a great opportunity. It was fun!

In 2006, I realized that my own growth as a computer scientist required working with others beyond this friend, to work in a team, in fact. I moved to Northern Alberta and worked in IT department for a college. As I mentioned, in 2007, the CTO, brought in Mishkin Berteig to provide us with a 3-day training course on Scrum. Quite immediately I loved it because I could see how it would provide us with a lot of opportunity to solve problems we were facing in an IT department and, secondly, it just seemed like a more human way to work. I was reflecting on all of these periods I had had as a musician, working with other musicians, and it just seemed like a better way to approach the creative endeavor than other project management methods that were in play at the time.

Since that time, I’ve been practicing them in a variety of settings and I’m more convinced now than ever that the Agile Manifesto provides us with a great solution space as we respond to business challenges. Recently I’ve decided not to be a developer or product owner but have decided to join Berteig full time and train and coach other teams.

So that’s the story of my personal evolution. My personal journey.

Looking back on that training I can see how I felt immediately that Real Agility was an alternative way of doing things.

I studied music since I was a child and music has always been a huge part of my life,and as a musician, one becomes aware of or familiar with continuous improvement. This is the same concept found in Real Agility. But with music it’s incremental, tiny, tiny increments of improvement over time. We respond to an audience. We respond in real time to our fellow musicians. We are always taking in input and that informs our performance of the music. As musicians, we spend a lot of personal time developing our craft. We spend significant time in performance so we can receive the audience feedback.

What I mean to say is that musicians are excellent examples of high performance teams and are excellent examples of creative excellence, who understand tactical excellence and what it means to get there.

When I joined Software development in a large, bureaucratic institution – the college – it was anything but natural for me. At that time, I was more than just a software developer. I was systems analyst, database admin and a variety of positions or roles. It just felt like an industrialized, mechanical environment where people were expected to behave as interchangeable units of skill. Work was expected to get done in the prescribed procedure. And decisions were expected only to be made by the smartest or the highest paid few and if you weren’t of that ilk, you were not expected to behave autonomously. You were expected to be just part of the machine and it felt very inhuman, as most people feel as a part of a large hierarchical bureaucracy.

When Mishkin facilitated the Certified Scrum Master training course in 2007, it just blew all those doors open. It reminded me that we can approach our work the way I had naturally approached it, as a creative individual who is capable of learning and wants to receive immediate feedback from audience or user, and who can make autonomous decisions about how to apply that feedback into the continuous development of software and systems and large infrastructure.

These business challenges are pretty common. They are delayed projects or projects that that blow the budget, or where a group of people are assigned to the project and they can’t possibly complete the scope of work in the time given. Or staff are demoralized, and how that expands through enterprises. There are many examples. The college where I was working suffered all of the most common issues and the one that hurt me the most or I felt the most was attrition. Dis-engaged staff. The reason for it was simple. The college had not presented with them a purpose or opportunity to be masterful. The extrinsic motivators, salaries and such, were just enough to keep people for a little while and then they would leave. And so the college at the time was experiencing attrition of 35-40% per year and that’s what I meant by inhuman.

“These Real Agility methods presented a change. In fact, people become centric to the purpose!”

When I read the Agile Manifesto I think that it provides us with solutions, and so if our current business problem or business circumstance is that we have disengaged staff who aren’t very productive and aren’t getting along well, then the Agile Manifesto reminds us that perhaps business people and developers can work daily throughout the project together. They can have continual interaction, and then individuals and their interactions become more valuable than the process and the organizational tools that have been put in their way. It reminds us that people should be allowed to work at a sustainable pace. We should build projects around motivated individuals. And that poses questions about how to do those things. What does it mean to be motivated, and how do we build projects around motivated people?

So Agile Manifesto presents us with some challenges, as a mental process, and then when we work through that we understand how it can inform good decisions about how to solve business problems.

Real Agility to me means being aware of and accepting of the present, in order to respond and chart new courses for the future.”

In other words, Agility means being nimble, the ability to adapt to current circumstance, but more than that, Real Agility means that we should approach our work with the intention that we stay light-weight so that when our circumstances change we can adapt without a lot of inertial resistance. So there’s two components there. One is being able to adapt quickly, and being aware of present circumstance but the other is that we don’t want to take on weight and institutional mass, because that’s inertia, the status quo.


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Scrum Product Owner Training: Reflecting on Agile in Community Settings

 

rachelheadshotThe Certified Product Owner training I attended recently has me reflecting on when I first heard about Agile.

My introduction was in 2012 on one of those really cold, dark wintery nights in the now-famous Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Garry Bertieg had invited me to consult about a challenge we were facing in a community development initiative. I remember it being so cold and dark I didn’t want to leave the house. But I was curious about what innovative team-building technique he wanted to share so I went to check it out.

We weren’t dealing with a business issue. And it wasn’t tech-related. But it was complex and it dealt with many groups, many individuals, and many Institutions. He felt Agile methods could help.

He presented some basic concepts from OpenAgile. He had a large poster board, sticky-notes and Kanban-style columns showing how items can move across the board while in progress on the way to        “done”.Learning Circle - cropped He also presented the Learning Circle Model. I just made so much sense to me instantly. He remarked that he was surprised to see me so receptive to the material so quickly. It just made so much sense. This Learning Circle has formed the foundation of how I work ever since.

It was as though it combined the best of everything I had experienced in teacher’s college, in community development and in serving in community-level leadership roles for a decade.

I started applying what I learned from that 3-hour session immediately and I saw the results instantly.

 

At the time, I was operating independently, so I didn’t have a manager to run anything through, and I was running a neighbourhood children’s class, responsible for supporting more than a dozen volunteers, teachers, and other coordinators. The OpenAgile model was a perfect fit and I attribute a lot of the success of that neighbourhood class to the framework within OpenAgile.

At the time, I knew nothing of Scrum, Kanban or even the way Agile first evolved from IT software development. I didn’t know any of that. But I started working with Agile methods then and continued until now.

Certified Product Owner Training Took My Understanding To a New Level

Last week I had another agile-style life-changing experience in the Certified Scrum Product Owner training lead by Mishkin Berteig & Jerry Doucett.

I entered the class with an open mind, willing to learn, and eager to apply the learning in whatever ways are applicable in my current circumstances.

At a very foundational level I gained a new understanding and appreciation for the role of the Product Owner in creating the product backlog. I understand that is key.

I also enjoyed the simulation exercise of creating a product. The team I worked with at the table was excellent and worked so well together. At one point, we made this Product Box which demonstrated our vision for our product.Product Owner Simulation - Product Box Example

It was extremely valuable to also understand the way the Product Owner collaborates with  the Scrum Master for the best possible results.

Since I am not currently working with a Scrum team, there are some parts of this learning which are not immediately applicable.

However, the training was exceptional and I came away with a much more thorough understanding of the Product Owner’s role as a whole.

It was a phenomenal experience with an excellent facilitator team.

I’m enjoying the opportunity to learn more and more about positive ways organizations are changing every day, both inside and outside of corporate environments.

 

 

 


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Sabine’s Principle of Cumulative Quality Advantage

Many organizations won’t survive the next decade. Of those that survive, even they are likely to be extinct before century’s end — especially the largest of contemporary organizations.

I was thinking today of a few essential adaptations that enterprises must make immediately in order to stave off their own almost-inevitable death.

With Regard to Business Strategy

  • Measure value delivered and make decisions empirically based on those data.
  • Strive toward a single profit-and-loss statement. Understand which value streams contribute to profit, yes, but minimize fine-grained inspection of cost.
  • Direct-to-consumer, small-batch delivery is winning. It will continue to win.

With Regard to People

  • Heed Conway’s Law. Understand that patterns of communication between workers directly effect the design and structure of their results. Organize staff flexibly and in a way which resembles future states or ‘desired next-states’ so those people produce the future or desired next-architectures. This implies that functional business units and structures based on shared services must be disassembled; instead, organize people around products and then finance the work as long-term initiatives instead of finite projects.
  • Distribute all decision-making to people closest to the market and assess their effectiveness by their results; ensure they interact directly with end users and measure (primarily) trailing indicators of value delivered. Influence decision-making with guiding principles, not policies.
  • The words ‘manager’ and ‘management’ are derogatory terms and not to be used anymore.
  • Teams are the performance unit, not individuals. Get over it.

With Regard to Technology

  • Technical excellence must be known by all to be the enabler of agility.
  • Technical excellence cannot be purchased — it is an aspect of organizational culture.

For example, in the realm of software delivery, extremely high levels of quality are found in organizations with the shortest median times-to-market and the most code deployments per minute. The topic of Continuous Delivery is so important currently because reports show a direct correlation between (a) the frequency of deployment and (b) quality.

That is, as teams learn to deploy more frequently, their time-to-market (lead time), recovery rates, and success rates all change for the better — dramatically!

I have a theory which is exemplified in the following graph.

Sabine’s Principle of Cumulative Quality Advantage Explained

As the intervals between deployments decrease (blue/descending line)

…quality increases (gold/ascending line)

…and the amount & cost of technical debt decreases (red area)

…and competitive advantage accumulates (green area).

Note: The cusp between red and green area represents the turning point an organization makes from responding to defects to preventing them.


This is a repost from David’s original article at tumblr.davesabine.com.

This post is inspired in part by these awesome texts:


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Video: There’s no Crying In Retrospectives

Woman: “Is this a girl thing?”

Man: “No, there’s some pretty whiney people in QA that are both guys and girls.”

Okay, okay, all kidding aside…It’s easy to get a chuckle out of noticing that retrospectives can bring up emotions for people, both men and women, inside or outside of QA.

This is not to poke fun at any gender or any department but just to share some light humour around how emotional the process can be for everyone.

This emotional connection is, in fact, one of the humanizing aspects of Agile methods. Our emotions are what make us human and being agile is about being more human.

This video made me smile and I hope it makes you smile too!

 


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80 Agile Links Right Here on Agile Advice!

Did you know the “Agile Resources” page on this blog has 80 links to valuable Agile Resources compiled by Mishkin Berteig?

The page contains a number of links to recommended web sites, books or tools relating to Agile Work. It’s updated from time-to-time and as this is done, announcements are posted on the Agile Advice blog. As such, this page will always be “under construction”. If you have links to suggest, Mishkin will examine them for consideration.

Please feel free to post suggestions.

We’d love to read your comments and ideas!

A LIST OF 80 INCREDIBLE RESOURCES

Introductory Material:

Agile Axioms
Agile Manifesto
The OpenAgile Primer
OpenAgile Resources and Presentations – English & Chinese available
Agile Work Cheat Sheets and White Papers – Berteig Consulting Inc. [pdf]

Agile Software Focus:

Extreme Programming
Methods and Tools
The Scrum Primer [PDF]
A Scrum Primer – Report from Yahoo! [PDF]
Scrum and XP from the Trenches
Scrum and Kanban
Control Chaos – Ken Schwaber and The Scrum Methodology
Agile Software Development by Alistair Cockburn
Agile vs. Lean – Thad Scheer
No Silver Bullet by Frederick Brooks
Agile Planet – agile blog aggregator
Buildix – agile software dev tools on a CD
Agile Forums
Implementing Scrum

Project Management:

Agile Project Management with Scrum – Ken Schwaber
Project Management Institute
Agile Project Management Yahoo! Group
Burndown and Burnup Charts
Huge List of Software Project Management resources
Scrum Alliance – Agile Project Management and Training
Project Management Resources – by Michael Greer. I don’t agree with everything on this site, but if you are looking for traditional PM stuff this is a good place to go.

Lean and Theory of Constraints:

Lean Software Development – Mary and Tom Poppendieck
Evolving Excellence – by Kevin Meyer, Bill Waddell, Dan Markovitz NEW!
Theory of Constraints – Eliyahu Goldratt
Agile Work for Flow Projects – Mishkin Berteig
The Toyota Production System
Practice Without Principles – TPS Without the Toyota Way – Victor Szalvay
Agile Work Uses Lean Thinking – Whitepaper [pdf] by Mishkin Berteig

Management:

Agile Management Yahoo! Group
Slow Leadership – the opposite of Agile?
Adaptive Management – Jeffrey Phillips

Adult Education:

The Self-Educative, Narrative and Metaphorical Faculties of the Soul – Alexei Berteig (pdf)
Infed

Team Building:

The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization
Retrospectives
Retrospective Patterns by William Wake
How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Community Development:

Corporate Culture:

Catastrophic Organizational Change – Tobias Mayer
The Corporate Culture Survival Guide – Edgar H. Schein
Good to Great (fastcompany article) – Jim Collins

Agile Services:

Berteig Consulting – Agile Work Coaching, Training and Consulting
CC Pace
Digital Focus
Israfil Consulting Services Corporation
Scrum Alliance
Tobias Mayer
David Chilcott
Joe Little
Michael Vizdos

Agile in Other Domains:

Extreme Project Management for Architects

Experiences and Stories of Applying Agile in Other Domains:

Agile Documentary Video Project
Agile Publishing


The following sections of material are based on the Agile Work Cheat Sheet.

We are Creators

Reality is Perceived

An Introduction to General Systems Thinking by Gerald M. Weinberg

Change is Natural

About “Resistance” by Dale H. Emery

Trust is the Foundation

Agile or Not Agile?
Trust and Small Groups

Empower the Team

Launching an Agile Team – A Manager’s Howto Guide

Amplify Learning

Abe Lincoln’s Productivity Secret – a nice little bit about being properly prepared (although caution should be taken not to over-prepare!)

Eliminate Waste

Self-Organizing Team

Variations on the Daily Standup – Rachel Davies
Scrum from Hell – William Wake
Team Formation Stages – Forming Storming Norming Performing

Iterative Delivery

Are Iterations Hazardous to Your Project? – Alistair Cockburn

Adaptive Planning

Maximize Communication

Edward Tufte’s web site with lots of great info about the visual display of information
Human Tools for effective communication
Eight Barriers to Effective Listening
Facilitation Skills [pdf]

Test-Driven Work

The Qualities of an Ideal Test

Appropriate Metrics

Appropriate Agile Measurement White Paper (pdf)

Removing Obstacles

The Art of Obstacle Removal

Intros and Summaries

The Seven Core Practices of Agile Work


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Announcement: 4 New SAFe Course Opportunities

BERTEIG is now offering 4 new SAFE courses between now and December 2016.
“Leading SAFe 4.0” – Scaled Agile course for the SAFe Agilist (SA) certification.
 
“SAFe for Teams” – Scaled Agile course for the SAFe Practitioner (SP) certification.
“SAFe 4.0 Product Manager/Product Owner” – Scaled Agile course for the Product Manager/Product Owner (PMPO) certification.
“SAFe 4.0 Advanced Scrum Master” – Scaled Agile course for the SAFe Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) certification.

There will be numerous instances of each of these courses in locations such as: Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Mississauga, Waterloo and Markham.  Other locations are possible based on demand.
Look for these courses to also become listed on the main Scaled Agile event listing page (http://www.scaledagile.com/event-list/), as we are now a Silver Partner.

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Dejirafication: Free Your Process

Alexey Krivitsky recently posted a presentation on his blog, agiletrainings.eu, addressing the issue of so-called-agile tools, specifically Jira.

Here is a link to his presentation.

The movie images he chose gave me a chuckle and his points really hit home.

He offers 4 points to what he calls a “Jira Rehab Program” and I found the points interesting.

Take a look. See what you think.

Share your comments on your experience with agile tools here.

Have you had success with Jira or would you rather see it disposed of?

And check out Mishkin’s recent article on the ideal electronic Agile tool.

 

 


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