Posts on Learning

Agile Analysis, Agile Testing: Synergies for Successful Software Solutions

My experiences working with agile teams have taught me that agile analysis and testing skills are truly synergestic.

So much so, that I put together a tutorial for the April 2011 Quest Conference (Quality Engineering Software & Testing) entitled, “Requirements Exploration with Tester Collaboration”. Subsequently, I had the honor to work with agile testing guru Janet Gregory to present this at Agile 2011.

Next month, EBG’er Sue Burk will co-present this tutorial with Janet at Software Testing Analysis & Review (STAR) conferences. So, you might be wondering, what are those synergies?

The Testing Mindset

Product needs evolve into requirements that define what will be built, what will be tested, and how the product needs will provide value for the organization. People with testing skills need to be involved in requirements for the same reason the other product stakeholders need to be involved: to boost the team’s ability to deliver a high-quality product.

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Business Analysis for Business Intelligence

Over the past few years, I’ve spoken to user groups to share my experiences working with use cases, scenarios, and user acceptance tests in support of data warehousing and Business Intelligence (BI) BI analysis. Afterwards, many people ask me to summarize my recommendations. In response, I wrote a short article – Requirements Tips for Data Centric Projects. You can access it here (note: you may have to register).

In my article, I focus on analyzing the context of usage. In addition, remember this: to elicit, analyze, and specify requirements in this space, almost all of the time-tested data-centric techniques are still necessary.

People often asked me for additional tips and advice. What additional considerations for business analysis for BI?

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Best Books for Software Developers

This winter, SD Times editor Jennifer deJong Lent asked me to contribute an SD Times article on recommended books for developers. Jennifer and I agreed my list would exclude books about languages, databases or IDEs. I was pleased to contribute.

Jennifer begins her article with the following: “With the proliferation of online articles and ebooks, old-fashioned paper books seem not to have a place in today’s world. Many experts, however, still find useful things in paperbacks and hardcovers. From technology to people and team management, these books still help developers out today. Here are what the experts recommend.”

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This Week’s Business Analysis and Requirements Workshop: 2 Days of Learning in Las Vegas

I was recently interviewed by SearchSoftwareQuality editor Yvette Francino about this week’s Business Analysis and Requirements Workshop at the Better Conference/Development Conference this week in Las Vegas, Nevada (6-7 June, 2011).

Yvette asked me to explain the logistics, if we would be emulating gathering requirements for a particular project and if the workshop be relevant regardless of domain area. Here are my answers: As conference chair,

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Are Your Software Development Practices Jumping the Shark?

By Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman In September 1977, the TV sitcom Happy Days had über-hip Fonzie, clad in leather jacket and swimshorts, water ski over a shark to prove his mettle—and at that moment even diehard fans knew that the show was past its prime. They were right. After that episode, ratings plummeted, and the…

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Agile Product Needs book: Sneak Peek

Mary Gorman and I are in the midst of writing a book.  The title is still a WIP (work in process). A couple of contenders are “Agile Product Needs: <subtitle1:> ” and “The Agile Product Partnership: <subtitle2>”.  We’ll be looking for your help on settling on a compelling title – stay tuned, we can use…

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Agile Requirements by Collaboration

By Guest Blogger Rob Elbourn, Scrum Team Lead working at a major financial concern in UK. Visit Rob’s Agile78 Blog

I recently attended the “Agile Requirements by Collaboration” presentation at Skills Matter lead by Ellen Gottesdiener from EBG Consulting. Here are some of the main points I got from it.

Ellen described how collaboration needs to happen on several different levels of granularity along the way requirements are viewed on agile projects– the product (which establishes the product or portfolio roadmap), the release and the iteration (or work-in-progress).

Exploring these views can occur in several different facilitated workshops, from the roadmap workshop, to the release workshop to iteration workshops. The corresponding requirements that are clarified or driven out from these workshops also appear on different levels – boulder, rock and pebble.

The idea is that the pebbles form your user stories and are driven out at the level of the iteration workshop. Projects can encounter rock sized requirements at the iteration level and suffer a time delay as new pebble requirements are chipped off from them. This brings to question the level of “doneness” for a user story.

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