New e-book on Implementing SCRUM

Together with Bits & Chips magazine I plan to publish an e-book this year.  The book will put experience and practice in a center position; What is the impact of SCRUM? What choices do you need to make when implementing it? Basis for the e-book is a series of articles under the same heading, which present these issues in small manageable chunks.

In the first article in the series I explain(in Dutch) what typically changes as organisations switching from traditional development to Agile / Scrum. I mention the 5 characteristics of agile that I often discuss with my clients.

Implementing Agile in the real world- first article.JPG

The issue of Bits& Chips magazine containing the first article of “Agile in de Echte Wereld”

What do you think? Are there essential characteristics missing? Knowledge sharing is to create successes. Therefore, I ask you to think with me. Together with your expertise and questions we can sketch a picture of the Agile landscape.

Download:  Agile in de echte wereld | Deel 1 | De vijf karakteristieken van Agile

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G(r)ood Testing 12: knowledge of plane crashes can help to prevent IT disasters

In my new column is a follow-up on the G(r)ood Testing 11- Explosive software – when risks do count. In this 12th edition of G(r)ood testing I talk about the lessons that we can learn from space and air disasters: Unlike in the average software projects, when a plane crashes, extensive research is done to understand the causes. So these research reports are  an instructive read for tester that want to understand why problems occur. It also challenges us, do we do a good job?

We know that most disasters occur through an accumulation of several small and seemingly innocent errors. Should we not combine the errors we found in order to investigate scenario’s that might have an unexpected impact? I requires a shift in mindset and some people might see it as seeking problems instead of killing them. But it will be rewarding for those that want to add value and prevent IT disasters from happening.

Read the full column on the EuroSTAR community pages. Enjoy the read.

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Trondheim Test Conference Program Announced

View on Trondheim

View on Trondheim

I can feel the conference season getting ready. While I lay the last hand on the program of EXPO:QA conference, I get the message that the Trondheim Text Conference program is published. The TTC is organised by the Norwegian Computer Society. I am honoured to be asked to kick-off the day and I am looking forward to meeting a lot of friends again.

You can view the program on the free-test site.

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SCRUM question: Should we wait for the sprint to finish?

I posted a column on the LinkedIn Pulse. Last week, we had discussions about releasing features during the sprint. When a feature is done, is it OK to release it straight away, or should we wait for the sprint to finish?

I got some comments on the question already, thanks Ray Oei, Gerard Jonker and Vipin Jain for sharing your thoughts. Do you want to join the discussion and share your opinion. Please join in. Or just tune in to learn from what others have to say. You are welcome at the LinkedIn Pulse: Releasing during the sprint.

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Combining errors into disaster scenario’s?

In my new column is a follow-up on the G(r)ood Testing 11- Explosive software – when risks do count. In the 12th edition I like to talk about the lesson we learn from space and air disasters: Should we combine errors to investigate into scenario’s that have unexpected impact?  I believe it is a shift in mindset, some people might see it as seeking problems instead of killing them. But it might be rewarding….

The column is not yet published, the video is !



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Expo:QA’15 Program Chair

Today it got announced that I’ll be chairing the Expo:QA’15 Program Committee. For this event I’ll be teaming up with one of the most well-known and top contributors in the Spanish testing community, Antonio Robres. Together we have the challenge to select the best papers for the program.  We’ve received more than 100 papers, and I am glad we get support from the 25 experts of the technical committee, that will review all the submitted papers as well

The expo:QA conference is the meeting point for software testing and quality professionals in Spain and Europe. After 9 years of conferences, expo:QA has successfully consolidated itself as the biggest and most prestigious event in southern Europe dedicated to this field. It will take in Madrid from the 8th of June to the 11th.

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G(r)ood testing- the full list

I noticed some of the links were broken in publications section, EuroSTAR has moved some of the G(r)ood testing columns to a new place. I have updated the links, so you can acces them again. While I am at it, I listed them below:

Curious what edition 12 will be like, stay tuned !

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Agile in the real world, a co-production with Bits & Chips Magazine

Success is created by sharing knowledge. Together with Bits & Chips magazine Valori plans to publish an e-book: “Implementing Agile in the real world”. In this new ebook experience stories will take a dominant position. What problems are organizations facing when they apply Agile? What choices do they make while implementing Scrum?

Basis for the e-book will be a series of articles by the same name that presents these stories in small manageable chunks. On the backlog are currently topics like: “The 5 characteristic of SCRUM, “Starting with Agile?”, “The pilot project”, “Selecting the team”, “How do I create transparency?”, “Should I really enhance each sprint?” And “Who owns the DOD?”. In each article I ask the Bits & Chips readers to comment on the article, and suggest topics for next issues. So I trust the backlog will change over time.

The articles will be published (in dutch) from January onwards and they will be integrated into an ebook late this year.

See other books related to “de echte wereld”

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Testing Circus January Issue: the SCRUM Battle

Testing Circus -Derk-Jan de Grood-January-2015

Testing Circus, January 2015 Issue

Testing Circus is a free to download monthly International Software Testing Magazine. The magazine is subscribed by thousands of software testers worldwide. The January Issue has just been released.

It contains many cool articles, among which my description of the SCRUM Battle.  The SCRUM battle is an ideal way to introduce the SCRUM way of working in an engaging way. The SCRUM battle is a simulation game in which 2-4 teams experience how to work in an Agile team. It has been designed to introduce SCRUM to stakeholders from e.g. the business, operational, management or Sales. But is also helps developers and testers to get a good feel about SCRUM.

Read more about it in the magazine: download it for free on Testing Circus Website 

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Explosive software- when risks do count

The latest edition of G(r)ood testing, my monthly column on the EuroSTAR community pages is out. Last night Daragh from Qualtech put it online.

The column is inspired by discussion I had about Failure Mode Effect Analysis that is often done in the petrochemical industry.  It made me think. How do we testers treat risk, and why do we settle for a mere prioritization of system parts, that deludes the effectiveness and value of our work?

You can read the column here: G(r)ood testing 11: Explosive Software- when risks do count.

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The Full Circle: What to do with our “old school” test experience

Bob van de Burgt made a nice video of the SoapBox presentation I gave on the 2014 EuroSTAR conference. In this 5 minute message I state that the testers’ world gets extremely diverse. Not only are there many disciplines within testing, we also collaborate more and more with other disciplines like business analysts, programmers, Maintenance and Users. Additionally when implementing agile I experience that People and Cultural aspects are the key succes factors of implementing the required changes. So Collaboration is key, because with this magnitude of diversity no man can be a know-all.

We need to be aware that many younger IT-ers do not have the back-ground that experienced tester have. Since failing forward and learning is a key aspect of agile, we seem te be tempted to throw away the “old” knowledge, and start our own learn cycle. Here lies a responsibility for the experienced testers. I state in this message that they should coach, guide the less experienced team members. Share the rich knowledge that is available about testing and helping to make it applicable in order to contribute to valuable quality software.

Note: the Column I refer to in the video can be read here (sorry only in dutch): Samen + werken= Een Streepje Voor Hebben.

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Agile Implementation Pitfalls- by Erik Philippus

I stumbled upon a nice post by Erik Philippus on LinkedIN. In his column “Scrum under Siege: Agile Implementation Pitfalls” Erik lists the following pitfalls of SCRUM implementations.

SCRUM Pitfalls by Erik Philippus

In the last SCRUM implementation I did, I encountered them all. The items Phillip describe are all really logical items. Individually the items seem innocent and employees often come armed with good argument. “We really need Suzan, she is the only that knows how to solve this crisis”, “If we remove this item from the DoD-we might get the job done in time”, etc…But they all threaten the success of the SCRUM implementation.  To me the blog made me once more aware, that the true success factor of an SCRUM implementation is not in teaching the team to perform their rituals. It lies in making them understand agile and the stakeholders to adopt the right mindset. And that is a challenging change… But very rewarding to work on ;-)

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G(r)ood Testing 10: User Centered Risk based Test Stories

My last column for 2014 is on user centered risk based test stories (yes, it’s quite a mouthful). It is a follow-up on last months column. This one discussed an alternative way of creating an effective test strategy. You can read this previous blog on: G(r)ood testing 9: Test strategy revisited. This month we take the subject a little further, and see how the 3 stap plan supports the creation of a good test stories. test stories enable us to explain what we do to our stakeholder. If done right they will understand the value that we add to the development process.  You can read the full column on the EuroSTAR community pages: G(r)ood Testing 10: User Centered Risk based Test Stories. I hope you enjoy the read.

Not convinced yet? May I suggest that you watch my introduction video to learn about the topic of this column and you might even understand why I am running around on a vacant office-site.

Posted in Agile, EuroSTAR, G(r)ood testing, Test management, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy homecoming, Testing Excellence Award

Today I got welcomed at the Valori-office with Champagne and Cake. I was congratulated by everyone with winning the Testing Excellence Award by many of my direct colleagues. What a nice surprise.HomeComming

Egbert Bouman held another heartwarming speech and explained, for those that didn’t already know, what the significance of this prestigious award is. The “EuroSTAR Testing Excellence Award” is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of software testing within Europe. The award seeks to promote leadership, contribution and effectiveness in testing process and implementation.

I am very proud upon receiving this award. I am overwhelmed by all the positive things being said in the nomination that contains quotes of all 26 testers that supported it. More information on the award can be found at or EuroSTAR website

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Winning the Testing Excellence Award

Wednesday 26 November I got honoured with the Testing Excellence Award. This this prestigious award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of software testing within Europe. The award seeks to promote leadership, contribution and effectiveness in testing process and implementation. It has been granted to 15 test professionals since 1998, among which 4 Dutch testers. I am very proud to have been added to the list and sincerely like to thank all that have supported my nomination, or that came toward me afterwards with such warm congratulations.Winners of the Testing Excellence Award

When I went to the EuroSTAR conference for the first time in 2004, I did not know what the Testing Excellence Award was.  Over the years the award grew to me in value.  I remember the first award gala, when I humbly thought; “Well maybe… maybe, I would like to win this award, if I could”. Ever since, the award triggered me to think about what I wanted to contribute to our profession. To me, this defines the true value of the Testing Excellence Award. It shows us that we need to lead the community and share our vision and knowledge in such a way that others can take it yet another step further. To first time delegates the award might not mean that much yet, but a future winner is among them. I hope that among them are a few that got inspired to share their stories and opinions.

Henk van Merode kindly shared the video he made of the ceremony, which I have edited into a nice impression, where you see Paul Gerrard and Egbert Bouman handing over the famous vase of Irish Crystal:

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