New Blog post: Agile Coaching is like calibrating

“If you see me at work and spot me grasping in the air and turning imaginary valves. Then I am probably explaining how I visualize agile coaching.” 

EuroSTAR published a new post on agile coaching. In this post I explain how I work as an agile coach and compare my team coaching with calibrating a complex imaginary steam engine. The challenge is to find the right setting of each of the valves and balance the pressure. If we succeed in that, we have found an effective way of working that produces a lot of value for the organization. We could than say we have calibrated the machine

Read the full column on the EuroSTAR community pages: Agile Coaching – Calibrating the MachTeam.

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Testnet 20th anniversary: Two workshops at the same time

On Monday, May 15th the Dutch Test association (TestNet) will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Shakers and movers from the dutch test profession will contribute with sessions workshops that take place throughout the day.

I am proud to say that I am involved in two workshops (I believe this has not been done before at TestNet). How I can simultaneously host two workshops, that’s just a bit of a surprise …but then,  I am not alone in this.

Workshop 1: The future is now! Page 120 revisited
In this workshop Andreas Prins, Hans van Loenhoud and Ard Kramer and I will investigate what’s changed in the last 5 years in the field of testing. 5 years ago we were involved in writing the book “set your course, future and trends in testing” (In Dutch: bepaal je koers, toekomst en trends in testing). In this book we made firm predictions on where the test profession would be heading and what we testers would be doing in 10 years time.  The legendary page 120 shows a transition table from old testing roles to new roles that testers can perform. How accurate is this table? Should we add new roles and did our predictions come true? Join the workshop to find out.

Workshop 2: Agile Test Management

In my second workshop I collaborate with Jan Jaap Cannegieter. Within Agile context test management seems to be obsolete. Testing is responsibility of the team, and the team is self organising. based upon Jan Jaap’s and my personal experience we will identify situations where there might be a need for you as a test manager. Join this workshop to learn where and how test management still has value!

Besides these workshop my colleague Egbert Bouman will share his experience with Agile testing in a formal organisation. If you want to know more about the program or want to sign up? Please check the website of TestNet.

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Webinar Agile Test Strategies

Yesterday I gave a webinar for EuroSTAR conferences. In this webinar I state that while many organisations are reducing their test managers and Test Competence Centres, testing is on the rebound. Quality is embedded in development and testing is responsibility of the team. So it may seem that test managers and test plans are obsolete. Still, in bigger projects and in enterprises an effective agile test strategy is vital to ensure that the team does the right testing, we focus on integration and we have insight in inter- team dependencies. In this webinar, I shared my experiences as an overall test manager in various projects and defines some key ingredients of an Agile Test Strategy.

You can view a recording of the webinar on the EuroSTAR website. The webinar had a 100+ viewers and some lively Q&A afterwards. Please find below the used slides.

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Interview: 5 questions by Tali Michaeli

Tali Michaeli from interviewed me last week. He asked me questions about how got into the profession and challenged me to look 10 year into the future. The questions he asked where:

1. How did you start your way in the testing world?
2. How were you prepared for your first job?
3. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges & opportunities for testers today? 
4. What is the one piece of advice you would give to any tester starting his way today?
5. How do you believe the software testing world will look like in 5-10 years?  What will be different and what will be the same?

The answers I gave can be found on the blog: 5 testing questions with 

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State of Testing 2017


Together with QA Intelligence Blog and Tea Time for Testers launch State of Testing survey for the fourth year in a row.  Please join them to find out what 2017 holds for our beloved testing profession!

The aim of our fourth edition of this State of Testing survey is to provide visibility and understanding into our profession, and to help everyone in the community increase the value and the effectiveness of their work. The response to our previous surveys was amazing, and we are sure that this years edition will reach even more testers and capture even better information for the benefit of all!

Take the survey

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QUPER Model for better requirements

Over the last weeks I have been reading in Gojko Adzics book Specification by Example. Tonight I stumbled on his section about the QUPER model. Gojko describes that he didn’t apply the model himself, but finds it contains some interesting food for thought. And I agree, so I pass it on.

The QUPER, or Quality Performance Model is developed by Bjorn Regnell and helps you to discuss requirements that have a gliding scale. E.g. performance. Since the loading time of a webpage can be anything right? 0,5 seconds, 2 seconds, 10 seconds, you name it.

The QUPER model distinguishes three important break points. The first being Utility stating that the system is usable when it reaches this threshold. The second break point is Differentiation. System that reach this threshold distinguish themselves from the competitors. The 3rd break point (Saturation) indicates that further improvement does not add any value anymore. In the QUPER model these break points are discussed with the business and compared with the costs that are involved with reaching a certain, e.g. Performance.


I like the way it triggers mature discussions with stakeholders and puts business benefit in the equation. We might want to differentiate from the competitors on some features, but probably not all features. It’s waste to push performance on those parts of the system where this involves high development costs and were moderate performance is sufficient. I makes me think of the KANO model as well, but the QUPER model seems a good intuitive model, I am gonna use it, sure!

More can be read here:

What do you think? Do think you can benefit from this model? Are you already using it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Book launch at Valori HQ


Last Thursday we launched my new book “Agile in de echte wereld- Starten met Scrum” at the Valori Office. Above a photo impression of the event where we presented the new book to our customers and people that collaborated with me on the book. I gave a small presentation about the state of Scrum and introduced the book. A sure highlight was the presentation by Bernadet Miceli – Manager IT at Greenchoice. She shared her experience with the agile adoption of her company and shared some of the challenges we had to overcome. It triggered quite some discussion that was completed during the networking drinks. It was a nice and interesting event, and people were happy to take a copy of the book home.

Below the slides of my presentation:

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Getting a grip on your agile maturity using the ambition chart

“Improvements planned in the retrospective do not stand on their own. What is the ambition of your team and how do you share these?”


That is the main statement of the talk I gave today at the Agile Testing Days held in Potsdam Germany. The talk was about how to get grip on your agile maturity and I shared a tool called the “ambition chart” that is effective to:

  • Discus and share the ambition and dreams agile team members have
  • Chunk the dream into feasible improvement steps
  • Manage expectations with stakeholder and management
  • Prioritise improvement suggestions during retrospective
  • And make transparent where you are working on as a team and celebrate successes

Many delegate asked me for the slides right after the session, so I share them below. I hope it inspires you to make your own ambition map and apply it in you organisation. Good luck!

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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.


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


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


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

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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.


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

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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.


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

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