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1. Do You Need a Transition Team?

Ever the experts, the group at Scrum, Inc. recently assessed a young Scrum implementation and their observations led to a lot of discussion around the office. They saw excited teams, a stable cadence of meetings, and leadership eager to support the implementation — in other words, a very promising start. Yet the teams had hit a wall and the organization was struggling to understand why.

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A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. So said Shakespeare’s Juliet, convincing herself that Romeo was a great guy, even if his business card had “Montague” on it. Her point is well-taken. What matters are a thing’s inherent qualities, not what it’s called.

However, sometimes the opposite happens – two names that have different meanings merge together over time, making the differences between them fuzzy and unclear. When that happens, we lose perspective about what it means to be one thing or the other.

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1. Tools — Some Assembly Required

Michael Sowers has a love-hate relationship with automated tools. In this post, he talks about one of things he finds important to keep in mind when dealing with said tools: “Have a long-term plan.” That plan can range from eighteen to thirty-six months.

This is critical because whichever automation functionality you implement across your development, testing, and deployment lifecycle should be capable of passing certain information from one tool to the next. No one wants to reenter information from tool to tool, and you’ll most likely want (and your key stakeholders will need) reports that span the information contained in different tools.

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1. Testing End-to-End: More could be counterproductive

One of the projects I am currently working on had a formal end-to-end testing phase. There are many interrelated systems and end-to-end testing is a good exercise to ensure that system works as expected.

However, it’s important to remember that executing more tests, especially during end-to-end testing phase could be counter productive. In general, I prefer less because constraints make me focus on right and important things.

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Here’s some food for thought: chances are, if you are practicing Agile, it’s becoming one of your primary processes for software development.

According to the State of Agile Survey 2013 from VersionOne, over half (52%) of companies surveyed use Agile for 50-100% of their projects. That’s pretty substantial, especially considering what it takes to train an entire organization on a core business process. The need for Agile adoption and understanding by most of the key stakeholders involved in these projects is becoming even more important.

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