process plan Before 'Z' -- A Simple Secret for Process Improvement

Improving your process plan is as simple as ... well, it's a secret that Payson Hall wants to share with you in this week's column. This bit of advice has helped numerous companies and everyone involved in the process. Find out how Payson, formerly part of the development community, became one of THEM and learned this great secret.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
hasty decisions Hold That Decision

In the rush to complete a project, teams often make hasty decisions, including decisions about which features will be included when the product is released. Rather than making quick decisions, a team should defer a critical decision. Especially if they might learn more throughout the project that will help them make a better decision. In this week's column, Mike Cohn explains the importance of taking advantage of the new knowledge project teams acquire and how this allows them to make better decisions by deferring them.

Mike Cohn's picture Mike Cohn
Why Agile Projects Don't Thrash

Tension is present on every software project. It comes from the stress of ensuring the software is fit for its purpose, which often leads to multiple changes. Find out why agile projects handle change better than most, and learn three things you can try on your next project to keep change in check.

Ronald E. Jeffries
Stop Listening to Your Users

Just because you have a problem does not mean you are the best person to solve it. In this issue's Technically Speaking, Mike Cohn recommends truly involving users as participants in the process instead of just asking them what they want.

Mike Cohn's picture Mike Cohn
Creative License

Project managers seldom worry about nurturing the creative sides of team members. But if you plan and schedule for creativity the way you do for the more tangible aspects of your software project, you might be pleasantly surprised at the practical results you gain.

Patrick Bailey's picture Patrick Bailey
Divide and Conquer

When taking on a new job or even a new project, the sheer number of tasks can seem overwhelming. Find out how a few stacks and applied prioritization can help you cut through the clutter and clear a path to success.

Douglas Hoffman
Stale Plans Are the Devil's Workshop

Turn to The Last Word, where software professionals who care about quality give you their opinions on hot topics. This month, see why it is important to keep your plans up to date.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Big Bang, Large Crater

Miracles seldom happen in the software industry, and that is what Big Bang transitions bank on. Utilizing such volatile quick-switch tactics often leave you with nothing more than a costly large crater, so why do some organizations still consider it an option? In this week's column, Peter Clark recognizes the potentially devastating effects of the approach and calls to disarm the process. But if you find yourself having to use the Big Bang, Peter gives tips on how to carefully avoid an accidental detonation.

Peter Clark
Keeping Secrets

Test data has long been a challenge for testing; privacy legislation, identify theft, and the continued trend towards outsourcing has made it even worse. Just establishing and maintaining a comprehensive test environment can take half or more of all testing time and effort. In this column, Linda Hayes adds in the new and expanding privacy laws that inevitably limit your testing options. Yet from the quagmire of laws and company standards, better testing can emerge.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
Thinking Inside the Box

The problem with urging outside-the-box thinking is that many of us do a less-than-stellar job of thinking inside the box. We often fail to realize the options and opportunities that are blatantly visible inside the box that could dramatically improve our chances of success. In this column, Naomi Karten points out how we fall victim to familiar traps, such as doing things the same old (ineffective) way or discounting colleague and teammate ideas. Thinking outside of the box can generate innovative and ingenious ideas and outcomes, but the results will flop when teammates ignore the ideas inside the box.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten


StickyMinds is a TechWell community.

Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day.