Project Management

Articles

Use Case Completion Worksheet (template)

This use case template will help you keep track of changes and the disposition of use cases during a requirements workshop.

Ellen Gottesdiener's picture Ellen Gottesdiener
A Problematic Truth

"No Fred, we're not considering you for that promotion. You're too valuable where you are." How many of us have heard those words, or said them at least once to our staff? Sometimes, we use the "too valuable" phrase to avoid discussing problems with a staff member, problems you can bring out in the open and manage.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
A Child's-Eye View of Software Testing

You've had to explain and justify your job to Management, to Human Resources, and to everyone at your high school reunion. But now comes the ultimate test: Your child's assignment for the next show-and-tell is to describe what her mom or dad does for a living. You scramble for an easy way to explain—maybe for the first time—what you do at the office, but your software testing reference books just don't have enough pictures of cute animals to really do the trick. This book might be just what you're looking for.

Alyn Wambeke
What Is Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory software testing is a powerful and fun approach to testing. In some situations, it can be orders of magnitude more productive than scripted testing. I haven't found a tester yet who didn't, at least unconsciously, perform exploratory testing at one time or another. Yet few of us study this approach, and it doesn't get much respect in our field. It's high time we stop the denial, and publicly recognize the exploratory approach for what it is: scientific thinking in real time. Friends, that's a good thing.

James Bach's picture James Bach
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get...Gentle?

Software projects are filled with productivity needs and deadline pressures. As a project manager, you may feel responsible for project deliverables yet highly dependent on others to complete their work. It's common to push, prod, and heavy-handedly coerce your team to go faster. Sometimes this has the desired effect. And even if it doesn't, you can at least claim you pushed as hard as you could. But is that really all that can be done? Eileen Strider suggests another tool at your disposal.

Eileen Strider
T-shirts Are Not Enough

Watching the recent Olympic teams in their matching uniforms reinforced the value of connecting with your team. What other gear might your team need? I'm not sure where we got the idea that T-shirts were enough. Are we too arrogant to admit that sometimes a bulletproof vest would be handy?

Eileen Strider
Running Down Assumptions

Do you think the assumptions you make about your software project are important? I do. One of the biggest sources of software project failure is hidden assumptions, especially about your requirements. These assumptions have a way of coming out of the woodwork–usually at the worst possible moment–to foil your projects. But there are ways to track down and expose assumptions.

Brian Lawrence
Shhhhhh! You Can't Say That!

Treating symptoms instead of the root cause of symptoms is a mistake that dates back millennia (just ask Socrates). The current-day workplace is no different. In Johanna Rothman's column, we get a glimpse at what happens when a company doesn't value its people.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
A Fable about Developer/Tester Relationships

Does trying to get developers to test their code feel like trying to get your children to clean their rooms? Some say yes. In this column, the author spins a tongue-in-cheek fable about room cleaning strategies. Your comments are invited.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Counting Defects

Defect counts are often considered as measurements of product quality. However, the most important defect count in that respect is by definition unknown; the number of undiscovered errors. Defect counts can be used as indicators of process quality. In doing so, one should avoid assuming simple causal relations. Defect counts can provide useful information but have to be presented with care.

Bert Wijgers's picture Bert Wijgers

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