What Agile Impacts – Neotys Testing Roundup

1. Accelerating Agile: Hyper-performing without the Hype

Dan North is a technology and organizational consultant helping CIOs, business and software teams to deliver quickly and successfully. He finds most technology problems are about communication and feedback, which explains his interest in organizational design, systems thinking and how people learn. He has been coding, consulting and coaching for over 20 years, and he blogs at dannorth.net.

In this interview, North shares insight on how really high-performing teams work, the patterns and ideas being genuine experiences from practitioners. This is Agile in actuality. Agile is an attitude, not a rule book.

2. Performance Appraisals – The Bane of Agile Teams

Mike Mallete is an experienced Agile coach, trainer, and speaker. He has coached teams located in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia, from junior developers to senior management. He is among the first Certified Scrum Professionals in the Philippines. He has been co-training Certified Scrum Master courses since 2011. He has spoken at Agile Alliance and Agile Tour conferences.

In this interview, Mallete discusses why performance appraisals fail and what can be done instead.

3. Asking for Help in Agile Adoption

Coaching and mentoring can help organizations in adopting agile. But they only work if people are open to help. What makes it that people sometimes do not allow coaches to help them? What can you do to encourage helpful behavior in organizations?

Bob Galen wrote the blog post the agile project manager—please sir, may I have some help? in which he shares several stories of people who were reluctant to ask for help from coaches. One example is about an organization which, 6 months after receiving training and being ready to go on their agile journey, was using a command and control management style with agile:

Managers were micro-managing the sprints and adjusting team estimates and plans. The teams were distrustful, opaque and misleading their management. There was virtually no honest and open collaboration—nor trust.

4. How Agile Impacts Configuration Management and Testing

Steve Berczuk is a regular contributor to TechWell and StickyMinds and a principal engineer and ScrumMaster at Fitbit in Boston. In this interview, Steve discusses configuration management and agile, helpful tools, and how testing has evolved over the years with the rise of agile.

Jonathan Vanian: I’m here today with Steve Berczuk. Steve, thank you for taking time to chat with us today. You’re very familiar around these parts. You frequently write great stories for us on TechWell and on StickyMinds. Let’s start out by having you talk about your career thus far for some of our readers and listeners.

Steve Berczuk: Okay, so I started off and went to school. I got an electrical engineering degree and segued into a job doing quality assurance for a mainframe software company. I decided that that wasn’t really what I enjoyed doing. Really lucked out and got involved with a group at Eastman Kodak of all places, which was doing some really cool stuff when I started working.

I got a job at Kodak where people really understood what they were doing. They understood software development really well and they understood configuration management. They understood working with co-distributed teams.

After that, you know, was one of those times when companies were laying off people and then I went through a couple of other companies. A couple startups where I basically, the stuff I took for granted that I learned in my first software development job, people just didn’t know how to do.

Read the entire interview here.

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