Getting a grip on your Agile Maturity

Starting 5 December a testers crowd will gather in Potsdam Germany for theAgile Testing Days. This year I will contribute with a talk on agile maturity. The tool I will introduce is the Ambition chart, which can easily be created using Powerpoint.

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With the ambition chart you can discuss the ambition that your fellow team members have, give the proper priority to the actions that are defined in the Retrospective and keep a focus on your goals. It also enables to manager expectation with management and stakeholders and makes progress explicit. A lot of advantages for a simple graphical one pager.

Join my session Grip on agile maturity to find out how you can make one yourself.

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The testmanager as strategic quality advisor

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In my latest article (published in the November Issue of Bits & Chips magazine) I write about the test challenges that we have in multi-team Agile projects. Testing in these projects is responsibility of the development teams, of course. But, … I notice that teams often lack specific knowledge and some tests exceed team boundaries. Since there are many test challenges to take into account, at various levels, we need a test strategy to ensure no tests are forgotten and that the governance leads to transparency and accurate information about risks, progress and end-to-end quality.

You can read my new article (in Dutch) in the latest edition of Bits&Chips, or download the PDF: De noodzaak voor een agile teststrategie

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Keynote on the OnlineTestConf

On November 29 and 30 the OnlineTestConf will be held in….well is’t online so virtually it is anywhere. Joel Motvelisky has asked me to give a keynote to open the second day of the conference. The first day will be opened by Rob Lambert.

You can see the full program on the conference website. There you can also register, its free, there is no travel costs involved and a great line up.

I made a small introduction to my talk Testing fundamentals in a changing world. I hope to meet you somewhere in cyberspace on 30 November.

 

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Day 3: Agile in the real world – 7th position at online bookstore

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Agile in de echte wereld- Starten met Scrum is available since Monday. An enthusiastic reader informed me that on one of the bigger online bookstores the book is doing very well. It’s on the 7th position of best-selling agile books, and that after only 3 days. I am amazed. It’s not a battle of course, but I am thrilled that the book seems to fulfil a need.

Check it yourself at bol.com.

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My new book is out! Agile in the Real World

This week the first copies of my new book were delivered at the Valori office. I was really proud when I browsed though the 120+ full color pages. the book looks inviting and the illustrations are a nice addition to the text.

Agile in the real world – Starting with Scrum has become a really practical book that deals with the adoption of Agile in organisations. It’s contains many practical tips and examples of the dilemmas we encounter on a daily basis when we start working with Scrum. This makes it a guidebook for all that want to start with Scrum or that want to improve their agile way of working.

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The book is published by Techwatch, Nieke Roos did a excellent job on the editing and the book is available in Dutch at Bol.com and ManagementBoek.nl

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How to boost Unit testing as a Functional Tester

Last September I joined the 21st testing retreat which was held in France. The testing Retreat is an annual peer conference where senior testers from various countries meet and spent their weekend together to talk about the profession. During the weekend we had an interactive brainstorm in we concluded that many Functional testers find it hard to advice on how to implement and improve unit testing. To help them out we collectively defined a list of tips that can be used to improve Unit testing in your organisation/agile team.

Read the column to find out what these tips are and how you can benefit from them: G(r)ood testing 25: Tips for how to boost Unit testing as a Functional Tester

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New Book: Agile in the real world, starting with Scrum

I am proud to provide a sneak preview of my new book. The artwork for “agile in de echte wereld – Starten met Scrum” (Agile in the real world, starting with Scrum) is reaching its final phase. Next step is to get the book printed. In contradiction to the earlier eBook with the red cover, this one will be a physical book. I revised the original texts and the added some extra chapters. The physical book will be 120+ pages full of practical experience and tips that make it a guidebook for all that want to start with Scrum or that want to improve their agile way of working.

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The book is expected early november. More info can be found on the info page.

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21st Testing Retreat was awesome

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This weekend I spent my time in France, where 12 testers gathered in the Chateau de la busquiere to share experiences, benchmark opinions and discus trends in the testing Profession.  The Testing Retreat is a peer conference that aims to discuss relevant test topics and inspire its participants. During normal conferences there is mostly little time to have the in-dept sessions of the kind that the retreat hosts. Some of this year’s agenda topics were, but I can guarantee we discussed a lot of non-agenda topics during the breaks, dinner and time-of moments:

  • Quality mission, If we as testers focus on testing i.s.o reducing complexity and dependencies in the system landscape we fail our quality mission
  • DevOps, Experiences with moving to DevOps
  • Agile transition, Can old school testers transition to agile teams
  • Ageism in IT, Brainstorm: how can we share our experience in a less traditional way
  • Testing in the large, how do we test the operational success of our new feature or release
  • Agile Performance testing, Is there a contradiction in Agile and performance testing
  • Compliancy and testing, What challenges does compliancy (e.g. Sox) add to the testing job
  • Bug reporting in Agile projects
  • Offshore testing and distributed teams, How to deal with distance between team members
  • Ethics as a new quality attribute
  • Trends in IT, AI and IoT have an impact
  •  Agile test strategies for projects (scaled) and departments
  • What should be in the ‘agile MTP’ and do we need it?

It was a very nice, inspiring weekend, that I trust enables participant to improve their value as test professional and to see developments in right perspective. I am already looking forward for next year’s edition.

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G(r)ood testing 24: The need for (agile) test strategies

The test profession seems to be become more technical and more widespread. Teams should do their (automated) Unit and Functional tests. Additionally they need to focus on non-functional tests and integrate their work with that of the other teams. How do we keep overview and ensure that acceptance and organisational readiness tests are included in the equation as well. In my new column I write about the new keynote I have written for the SIGIST autumn conference. When working in a multiple team projects the chances that all test activities coincidently align are extremely small. I therefore conclude that even within agile projects there still is a need for test strategies.

You can read my plead in more detail on the Eurostar community pages:

G(r)ood testing 24: The need for Agile test strategies

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New Book on Scrum: Manuscript is sent to the Editor

Last year Valori published the e-book “Agile in the real world, starting with Scrum“. Together with the Bits & Chips magazine I produced a practical guide for organizations that want to make the most of their Scrum implementation!

This e-book was a great success considering the responses we have received in recent months and the number of downloads. It confirms our analysis that many professionals are adopting Scrum or are seeking ways to get more out of their agile development process. Especially for them I decided to rework the eBook into a more substantial physical edition.

Artist impression of the physical book. The cover artwork is not yet finished but will look distinctive from the eBook cover.

For the physical book the original chapters have been revised and supplemented with more examples from the real world. The original text has been expanded with new chapters on the Scrum implementation model (the three stages that continue to be a Scrum transition), the refinement process, the preparation of the Definition of Done and using the definition of Ready. Finally I added tips for setting up the sprint review and the final chapter explains the relationship between the initial phases of the Scrum transition with the ultimate goal: Business Agility. This were I briefly put Scaling Agile, the operating model, product thinking and Governance into context.

I am pleased to announce that the manuscript is sent to the editor and I am awaiting the print-proof soon. The physical book is published in Dutch be available later this year. The before mentioned e-book is no longer available for download. But fill in your details on the form and you will receive notice as soon as the physical book is available.

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BCS SIGIST Autumn 2016 Conference

Tomorrow (15 September) the British Computer Society will organize their Autumn Conference in London. The conference is organized by the SIGIST, the special interest group in Software Testing. We have an interesting line-up with a.o. talks on Automated test design (by Mark Harman), a software testing clinic in which young an new testers can get hands-on experience and get a feel on test skills that are needed. by Dan Ashby and Mark Winteringham. Neil Thomson will do a talk on Test Data. DevTestOps by John Stinson and John Karn will talk about team conflicts.

I am proud to offer a workshop on test progress reporting in Agile projects using subway mapping in which we will make our own one-page test progress report and learn how subway mapping can be used to put testing on the project management agenda.

I have to honor to close this inspiring day with a keynote in which I’ll search for de fundamentals in software testing and discus how they remain standing in a changing (read: more agile) world.

I hope to meet you in London, have a chat and a drink. More information can be found on the BSC website. The full program can be found here: SIGIST Program.

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G(r)ood testing 23:

Together with colleague Kelvin Geerlings I wrote a Column in which we shared our experiences we had with End-to-End testing in larger agile projects.  This blog deals with the organisation of the End-to-End tests and how you can manage teams to adopt it in the sprints. It was originally published in Dutch, but got some requests for an English version.

You can find the column on the EuroSTAR community pages: G(r)ood testing 23: End-to-End integration in Scaled Agile projects

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The Agile Organization Epic @ Valori Office

Today I sat down with Marja van Solkema to prepare the Agile Holland meet-up of 5 september.

Marja and her colleagues of the scrum coach school will challenge us to discover the characteristics of the ideal agile organisation. We will sit down in groups and exchange our ideas and experiences. The session will be held at our Valori Office in Nieuwegein.

Today I learned the limit of 30 participants has been reached, and there is even a waiting list. So if you did not subscribe yet for the meet-up, you’ll have to wait for the report of this session. Don’t want to wait: Find Marja’s first thoughts on The Agile Organization Epic here (in Dutch):  https://www.scrumcoachschool.com/blogs/

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End-to-end testing in agile projects

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Together with colleague Kelvin Geerlings I wrote a (dutch) blogpost in which we shared our experiences we had with End-to-End testing in larger agile projects.  The end-t0-end integration is a difficult challenge for agile teams that are good development teams, but often lack insight in the business processes, the relationships between the systems in the chain and are struggling with inter-team dependencies. Often we see the End-to-End integration being done by a separate team or not at all.

This blog deals with the organisation of the End-to-End tests and how you can manage teams to adopt it in the sprints. Currently it’s only available in Dutch, but if we get enough requests, it will be made available in English soon. You can read the dutch column here: ketenintegratie in scaled agile projecten.

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Testing Talk – interview by Anthea Whelan of Proffesional Tester

For the June edition of Professional Tester I was interviewed by Anthea Whelan. In the interview I was asked about the Value of testing and how current trends influence the way we operate. She also asked me what things still surprise me. Want to know my answer? You can read the Testing Talk Interview in the Professional Tester magazine.

 

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