Project Management

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Ritual of Retrospectives: How to Maximize Group Learning by Understanding Past Projects

You've just finished your software release. You have signed off, and it's been shipped. You’re done, right? No! The moment a project ends is the perfect time to reflect on the entire project to see what there is to learn—it's the unique moment when the project can be seen in its entirety. It’s also a perfect moment because the end of your project forecasts the beginning of a new project in the not-too-distant future, which you can improve by applying what you’ve learned from this project. You can look at completing the project as having “paid your tuition.” So now what are you going to learn from it?

Norm Kerth
Risky Beginnings: How to Start Software Projects Off on the Right Foot

Esther Derby's opening comments set up the thrust of her enlightening article: "Have you ever managed a project that went directly, hopelessly, and irretrievably to hell? Would you like to avoid some of the traps so your project doesn’t end up there?"

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
The Quality Barometer

A QA manager is often faced with measuring the impossible. Here is a simple, post-ship metric to help judge the test effort's effectiveness. The Quality Barometer method uses the bug counts found during testing, calculates a percentage, and then uses that percentage as the defect target number that can be tolerated after shipment.

George Hamblen
Your Piece of the Pie

More than 1,800 industry professionals responded to the third annual STQE/StickyMinds salary poll. The results suggest that, although it has been an unsettling year, the picture doesn't look all that bad for software QA professionals.

Alyn Wambeke
Perspectives from a Test Manager: Four Keys to Keeping Your Testing on Track

This article highlights four keys to getting better organized: 1. A common set of ground rules on the test progress, defect reporting, and verification; 2. The ability to convey how your team’s testing is going--on a frequent basis; 3. Knowing what needs to be tested--and being able to stand behind the reasons why; 4. Maintaining good communication with the development leaders to help move the product through the development phases--being proactive rather than reactive.

Chris DeNardis's picture Chris DeNardis
Lessons in Test Automation

Elfriede Dustin has worked on many projects at various companies where automated testing tools were introduced to a test program lifecycle for the first time. In reviewing these projects, she has accumulated a list of "Automated Testing Lessons Learned," taken from actual experiences and test engineer feedback. In this article, she will share examples of this feedback, hoping that this information will help you avoid some typical false starts and roadblocks.

Elfriede Dustin's picture Elfriede Dustin
Designing Useful Metrics: Using Observation, Modeling, and Measurement to Make Decisions

First-order measurement can help you understand what's going on, make decisions, and improve results. Observation, modeling, and simple data gathering are things that you can implement in your work group without a big measurement program or big funding. Start by modeling your system and working out on paper how different measures will affect your system. Then involve your team, expand your model, and try some simple data gathering. This approach to measurement is one more tool in your toolkit, and it will move your organization toward better quality.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
The Influential Test Manager: How to Develop and Use Influence to Help Your Test Group - and Project - Succeed

Test managers often feel that while somebody might be in control of schedules or resources, they certainly are not. An experienced test manager shares ways to develop and use professional influence to help the test group.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Retiring Lifecycle Dinosaurs: Adaptive Software Development

Adaptive Software Development (ASD) is one of a growing number of alternatives to traditional, process-centric software management methods. Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Development, SCRUM, and Crystal Light methods—although different in many respects—are tied together by a focus on people, results, minimal methods, and maximum collaboration. They are geared to the high speed and high change of today's e-business projects.

Jim Highsmith
Risk-Based Testing: How to Conduct Heuristic Risk Analysis

Software testing is often motivated by risk. If you accept this premise, you might well wonder how the term "risk-based testing" is not merely redundant. However, conducting a heuristic risk analysis by employing a checklist of open-ended questions, suggestions, or guidewords is a proven approach to help you find the most important risks for developing your testing plans. 

James Bach's picture James Bach

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