Articles

Four people on a crew team rowing together Rowing in the Same Direction: Use Value Streams to Align Work

Ambiguity abounds about value streams, so it’s good to clarify what they are, why they matter, and how to exploit them. It's important to help employees understand the organization's definition of value, to provide visibility on how business value is created, and to focus on the fast flow of value through the value streams. If everyone understands which direction to row the boat, they can steer toward it together.

Dominica DeGrandis
Roadblock You’re Ready for DevOps—but Is Your Workplace?

In order to adopt DevOps, organizations need to be able to embrace the openness it requires, encourage experimentation and innovation, and work across departmental silos. You may be ready to encourage collaboration and communication to reap the benefits, but what if your company culture isn't? Here's how you can influence your organizational dynamics to lay the groundwork for DevOps.

Matt Hilbert
Encouraging growth Agile Managers: Trust Your Team and Encourage Innovation

In order to fully embrace agile and create an environment where individuals want to work together as a team, managers have to move from a role of dictation to one of direction and mentorship. Instead of making all the decisions, managers need to trust their team members and empower them to solve problems on their own, innovate, and fail—or succeed.

Lisa Rich Mic Riley
implementing gears Getting Employees On Board when Implementing Change Management

Change is a difficult but important part of business. It can be most difficult on the employees, but if you involve them in the planning process and make an effort to understand their points of view, you can mitigate resistance and facilitate the experience for everyone. This article deals specifically with ERP implementation, but its advice is useful for any change management situation.

RK Prasad

Better Software Magazine Articles

All Customers Are Not Created Equal All Customers Are Not Created Equal

Software developers may not think they have much to do with customers, but it is wise to consider the customer in all you do, from collecting requirements to design and implementation.

Regina Evans
The Secrets of High- Performance Software Teams The Secrets of High-Performance Software Teams

Of all issues that impact getting quality products out on time, the team should never focus on simply managing costs. To minimize the risk of perpetual product delivery delays, define what “done” really means.

Steve Mezak
tolerate You Get What You Tolerate

We’ve all worked with a talented developer who can be a frustrating challenge to manage. First-time managers may unknowingly encourage bad behavior. There are several innovative ways to resolve the situation.

Andy Kaufman
handstand The Power of Thinking Upside Down

Software developers can become bogged down trying to keep up with agile process and procedures. Get better results by rethinking your approach to balancing focus, agility, management, and testing.

Paul McMahon

Interviews

Gene Gotimer Understanding the Role of QA in DevOps: An Interview with Gene Gotimer
Video

Gene Gotimer, senior architect at Coveros Inc., discusses understanding the role of QA in DevOps, DevOps educational tools, trusting your team, and paid and open source security tools.

Jennifer Bonine
Selena Delesie Leadership Lessons to Bolster Your Software Team: An Interview with Selena Delesie
Video

In this interview, visionary speaker Selena Delesie explains how successful teams embrace specific principles, including listening deeply, believing people truly matter, having an addiction to learning, serving others, flowing through change, moving through fear, and following joy.

Jennifer Bonine
The Keys to a Successful Software Team: An Interview with Andy Kaufman
Podcast

In this interview, Andy Kaufman, the founder of the Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development, explains why team chemistry is often an afterthought, how enthusiasm can often trump skill, and how to deal with conflict.

Josiah Renaudin
Rob Sabourin discusses Usability Testing for Mobile and Web Technologies STAREAST 2015 Interview with Rob Sabourin on Exploring Usability Testing for Mobile and Web Technologies
Video

In this interview, Rob Sabourin talks about his STAREAST presentations. These cover how to elicit effective usability requirements with storyboarding and task analysis, and how to blend the requirements, design, and test cycles into a tight feedback loop.

Jennifer Bonine

Conference Presentations

STARCANADA Why Military Veterans Make Exceptional Testers
Slideshow

Hiring trained talent has been a challenge for IT organizations for several years now. How do you find a steady source of qualified candidates for entry-level QA and QE positions, especially considering colleges and universities don't include a software quality assurance curriculum?...

Brenda Hall
STARWEST 2018 What Aircrews Can Teach Testing Teams
Slideshow

United Flight 232 should have crashed with all 296 lives lost. Asiana Flight 214 should not have crashed at all. But the reality is very different. Peter Varhol and Gerie Owen explain that the critical difference between the two flights was the interactions of their respective aircrews. United Flight 232 divided up responsibilities and worked as a team, using Aircrew Resource Management (ARM) to guide how the crew behaved during the flight, and especially in a crisis. Asiana Flight 214 deferred to the captain, neither communicating nor questioning his decisions in crisis. ARM helps cockpit crew members work together to best utilize the whole team’s skills to make flights safe. Using ARM principles, a testing team can bring their project safely home. The leader of a team is the final authority, but leaders must acknowledge team members’ knowledge and experience. This can make the difference between success and failure.

Peter Varhol
Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Taking Your Team from Dysfunctional to Dynamic
Slideshow

Does it seem like your team is the antithesis of agile? Being negative or fearful, resisting change, or hoarding information are common pitfalls that impede progress and can sink an agile team. How can your team adapt to each other, avoid these patterns, and find its greatness? All teams have people with talents and untapped abilities, but it can be difficult for a team to figure out what works for them, what they have, and what they lack. If your team is struggling to unify, find its stride, or revel in the fun of working together, then this session is for you. Michelle Vician will reveal methods to build collaborative behavior, reduce fear of failure, and increase generous knowledge-sharing within a team. She will present some key steps to identify everyone’s strengths and to fuel investment in—and passion for—the team's success.

Michelle Vician
Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Creating an Innovation-Rich Culture
Slideshow

It's important to create a culture that inspires and infuses your development team with great ideas. But ideas are not action. Ideas in and of themselves are nothing more than unrefined, random thoughts, and worse, most ideas never get implemented. Even when you do follow through on some of the best ideas, they can cause great harm without proper planning and execution. While creativity is an asset, unbridled creativity where disparate ideas abound outside a sound decision-making and execution framework will create distraction and chaos. In this session, Melissa Petak will show you how to transform your organization into a value-creating machine. Using Forbes 15 elements of spurring innovation, Melissa will show you how to balance your innovation portfolio, establish a competitive advantage, and drive business engagement. You'll learn how to create a corporate culture that turns ideas into innovation.

Melissa Petak

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