Adopting Agile Testing Practices

Adopting Agile Testing Practices

This case study can be considered the result of adopting the Scrum framework without applying the suggested Agile testing practices and the impact after actual embracing them. Below you can find issues that were found and the practices that helped to overcome those issues. The main changes where the formation of cross functional teams and the use of test automations. From what it seems, we made one of the most common mistakes as a new Agile team that previously worked with incremental methodologies and tried to use Scrum. After creating multiple projects of different scope, size and technologies, the problem was visible when we went to enterprise level with a platform of 14 different applications, with more than 300K lines of code and near to 10k unit tests. This platform was about to go live but it should be stabilized first. Trying to add functionality on the platform we got in to a spiral of massive bug fixing rounds that worked as an alert, informing us that something did not work as it was supposed to. By this spiral effect it was obvious that something went wrong with the processes that we followed. How we worked Working with Agile methodologies is about building small increments in small iterations, one to four weeks top. At that time, besides the XP engineering practices, the team had adapted partially the Scrum framework by using some of the events such as sprint planning, daily scrum and sprints, but the collaboration between the testing and the development seemed more like a mini waterfall. The developers build a complete functionality (user story) or even a whole sprint...
Το Nexus Guide στα Ελληνικά (a.k.a. The Nexus Framework in Greek)

Το Nexus Guide στα Ελληνικά (a.k.a. The Nexus Framework in Greek)

Με μεγάλη χαρά, ανακοινώνουμε άλλη μια μετάφραση από τα μέλη του Agile Greece. Μετά το Scrum Guide στα ελληνικά, μεταφράστηκε και το Nexus Framework. Νομίζουμε ότι είναι εξαιρετικά σημαντικό μιας και το Nexus είναι ένα μεθοδολογικό πλαίσιο για την ανάπτυξη και τη συντήρηση προϊόντων και λογισμικού σε μεγάλη κλίμακα. Αποτελείται από τους ρόλους, τις δραστηριότητες, τα αντικείμενα και τις τεχνικές που συνδυάζουν τη δουλειά περίπου τριών έως εννέα Ομάδων Scrum που εργάζονται πάνω σε ένα κοινό Product Backlog. Βασίζεται στο Scrum και αναπτύχθηκε από τον Ken Schwaber και το scrum.org. Στο επίσημο site του scrum.org μπορείτε να μάθετε περισσότερα για το Nexus Guide. Ακολουθήστε τον παρακάτω σύνδεσμο για να κατεβάσετε το Nexus Guide στα Ελληνικά ή σε άλλες γλώσσες. Για άλλη μια φόρα είμαστε ιδιαίτερα περήφανοι για τα μέλη της ομάδας του Agile Greece. Διέθεσαν πολύ απο τον πολύτιμό τους χρόνο και κατάφεραν να προσφέρουν άλλο ένα σημαντικό κείμενο για το Scrum, στην κοινότητα του Agile στην Ελλάδα. Following the translation of the Scrum Guide in Greek, members of Agile Greece have translated The Nexus Guide. Nexus is a framework for developing and sustaining scaled product and software development initiatives. It is a framework consisting of roles, events, artifacts, and techniques that bind and weave together the work of approximately three to nine Scrum Teams working on a single Product Backlog to build an Integrated Increment that meets a goal. It uses Scrum as its building block, and has been developed by Ken Schwaber and scrum.org. Find out more about the Nexus Guide here.  Download the Greek Nexus Guide here. Once more we are really proud for the members of our team. They offer much of their valuable...
Our Agile ‘Game Plan’

Our Agile ‘Game Plan’

This summer, I will speak about my new business model at Scrum Day Europe in Amsterdam and Agile Greece Conference in Athens. The business model I invented is derived from computer games and game mechanics. Really? Yes really. But a lot of these mechanics can also be found in scientific models, loads of management books and are often part of agile and lean methodologies. Let’s say I applied ‘game thinking’ or gamification to organizational thinking. It’s apparent that organizations are forced to continuously change their mix of people and properties in order to remain relevant to their buyers, consumers and users. It takes a lot of energy commitment and guts to transform whole organizations. Not many people are willing to change, not even capable or just scared that change might lead to undesired consequences (losing their job or sense of control). In fact, when I was in the proces of uncovering why people do or do not undertake necessary actions, fear is often the most dominant factor. Taking actions that change the way you work, live or a complete organizations need: willingness, knowledge, physical action and the right amount of guts. In other words, change needs: Want to Know what to Able to Dare to It requires the right amount of drive and motivation to make people want to change. Then they should know what to do to start the change. Then they should be enabled (given the right amount of freedom or responsibility and necessary means) to physically act in the right direction with decisiveness and power. And finally… if the three mentioned previous elements are executed well, they will feel...
3 necessary management mindshifts in a fast-changing world

3 necessary management mindshifts in a fast-changing world

Changing an organization (irrespective whether big or small) into being Agile and Anti-fragile in a world changing at an exponential pace requires such a radical paradigm shift that no successful transformation can happen without a top-down approach, in terms of Company values, Management culture, Vision and Business goals. Nevertheless it is far too easy and far too common to fall into temptation that becoming an Agile organization means making a bunch of development teams work with Scrumand that managers, well, they are clever enough that can handle themselves. But, given the importance of the top-down part in the enterprise change, the very first step is actually starting from managers, for them to understand the why, be able to share and communicate the Vision, embrace the Agile values and be ready to support people with a new leadership style. Based on the empirical evidence I collected both in the organizations I coached and in others I observed, below are the three top management mindshifts needed to create the right conditions for people and teams in the trenches to succeed and get astonishing results. I will also offer some hands-on suggestions to change agents and coaches about how to trigger the different mindshifts. 1. FROM Excluding themselves from the change TO Taking onwership of the change Many managers (especially senior managers) think that Agile and Scrum is just for development.They seems not to understand all implications, especially what for instance Scrum really means for them. They often think that transitioning to Agile is just the umpteenth process improvement program, which can be delegated to process people: they have just to allocate...
Where do we religiously follow Scrum

Where do we religiously follow Scrum

First of all the title is wrong! You either do or do not follow Scrum religiously. After a 2 year experience in Scrum, our organization has inevitably slipped from Scrum many times and most of the times we regret it and switch back to discipline. There are some things though that we never compromise: Steady Cadence We started Scrum with one week Sprints and when the teams matured we switched to 2 week sprints. So in 2 years most of the teams have only changed their Cadence once. Changing the Cadence is a decision that came organically from the teams not necessarily in the same period. But having a standard day and time when the events take place is non negotiable, even when stress and pressures comes from above. Scrum Events Every sprint ends with a Sprint Review followed by a Sprint Retrospective and starts with a Sprint Planning Meeting. Sometimes, many team members think its better if we skipped this sprint’s retrospective. In this case I choose to make the meeting much shorter and ensure that we get out of it with at least one action item that most of the team agrees is important to deliver. Daily Scrums (standup meetings) take place on the same time and place every day and never last more than 15 minutes. When valuable conversations arise, we arrange a meeting right after the stand up which most of the times does not need to include the whole team. When someone doesn’t appear in stand up, they have to send an email to the team answering the Daily Scrum’s 3 questions. Well I’m pretty confident that breaking...
CSM, PSM, PMI certifications explained

CSM, PSM, PMI certifications explained

In our agile work, we all hear acronyms about CSM, PSM, PMI certifications. What are these acronyms, do I need such a certification, how can I get it? A short and sweet post by Dimitris. There are two well-known Scrum Master Certifications in the Global Market + 1 and some smaller initiatives. Certified Scrum Master (CSM) by Scrum Alliance Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) by Scrum.org Project Management Insitute’s ACP (Agile Certified Practicioner) Lets see them in more detail: Certified Scrum Master (CSM)  by Scrum Alliance Prerequisites: Attendance of a CMS course by a certified Scrum Alliance partner Cost: Included in seminar cost, which is rather pricey (last course in Greece in 2014, cost 950 Euros) Certification test type: Online Passing score: 24/35 Questions (69%) Duration: No time limit Expiration: Two years from test Renewal prerequisites: None Renewal cost: 100$, for 2 years. Market perception: CSM was the first Scrum Master Certification on the market and had the ‘first mover’ advantage. Until March 2012, the certification was awarded to all course attendees regardless of score. The certification is still considered ‘very easy’ to obtain and, I believe, is perceived by the job market more as a ‘certificate of attendance’ of a Scrum Alliance course, and less as a professional certification. Nevertheless, it is by far the most popular. At the time this article was written, Dec 2015, 319.385  CSM certifications had been awarded. Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) by Scrum.org Prerequisites: None Cost: 150 $ Certification test type: Online Passing score: 68/80 Questions (85%) Duration: 1 hour Expiration: Never Renewal prerequisites: N/A Renewal cost: N/A Market perception: PSM I was introduced...