Estimating time for software development in groups can be tricky. The first person's response often plants an idea in the heads of the rest of the group, leading to an incorrect estimate. One way of getting around this is to play a few rounds of planning poker.
Your clients may not understand why you follow certain practices as a project professional. They may encourage you to take shortcuts that they believe will save time, money, and difficulty. You know better, but how can you convince them?
While everything should be done to avoid project failure, it does occur. When it does, management and the team must look into why a project failed, to avoid repeating mistakes in the future. Failure must be more than simply accepted or allowed. It also needs to be closely analyzed.
We need to test infrastructure upgrades carefully to avoid disruptions to our applications—whether still under development or running in production. A good regression test suite can do most of what’s needed, but what if you don’t have one? You can take the time to create a new regression suite, but consultant Fiona Charles recommends an alternative: Use a cross-functional team approach to identify and target upgrade risks directly.
When leading technical projects, project managers and their teams know the task ahead can be a daunting one. So, when the customer comes with a desired solution mapped out and detailed requirements in hand, the first thing you want to do is move forward. That's your cue to start asking questions.
Test automation can turn into a real pain in the neck if a designated team is in charge of it or if the automators work on it as a separate project. In this article, Lisa Crispin seconds Bob Jones’s recent call for whole-team test automation and elaborates on the dangers of relegating test automation to an isolated project rather than integrating it into the overall software development process.
In this article, which originally appeared in the August 2006 issue of the Sticky ToolLook, Payson Hall talks about a helpful, inexpensive brainstorming and project management tool that most of us have close at hand: the sticky note.