Archive of posts in category 'Methods'

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Jun 8, 2017

What does a Scrum Master do all day?

Scrum Masters… What do you need them for? Those guys don’t help to develop the product, they are redundant! Worst case, the Product Owner can do his job! That is what many people think when they learn about the Scrum Master role. The quick answer to that question is simple: The Scrum Master is the guardian of the Scrum process, he keeps everything together. But what does that really mean? That’s what we will find out in this post.

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Mar 30, 2017

#NoEstimates Part3 - in Reality

Some time ago we introduced the lean methodology #NoEstimates. We showed the basic principles and how to get started with it. Now, after some time, we want to comment on how to use this approach in reality. The time has come to figure out whether #NoEstimates is applicable in the real world and with real projects and we want to share some tips what you should focus on.

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Feb 28, 2017

First Steps Towards Test Management

If you develop software it is inevitable to test the code that was programmed and there are several different ways to do that. For instance you can automate your tests or execute them manually. No matter how you carry out your tests you have to ensure that you test the right thing and that you test everything that is relevant. That is where test cases and scenarios come into play.

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Dec 20, 2016

Software Prototyping - Rapid Application Development

Prototypes are a great way to get feedback on design ideas and the feasibility of technical solutions. RAD (Rapid Application Development) is a methodology that focuses on starting development asap instead of writing rigorous design specifications. In contrast to the advice from the first post on software prototyping, to never use a prototype in production, RAD does exactly that. That is why we want to take a closer look at it.

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Nov 4, 2016

Noestimates Part2 Get Started

NoEstimates is a lean and agile methodology that focuses on the delivery of customer value. To reach this goal it tries to minimize non-value-creating actions like the estimation of implementation effort for User Stories. In the first part we introduced the basic ideas of the methodology. In this part we want to provide some tips on how you can get started with NoEstimates.

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Nov 4, 2016

No Estimates Part 1 - Just Another Agile Methodology

In the "Lean way of thinking" effort to estimate the implementation time for tasks, user stories or features, is waste, because it doesn´t produce value to the customer, it just makes people feel better. Therefore time spent on such activities should be reduced as much as possible. NoEstimates is an agile methodology that helps you to focus on creating customer value instead of spending time on things that don´t create value.

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Sep 9, 2016

Requirements Engineering Part 2

Finding out about all requirements of a product and ensuring their implementation is the key to a happy customer and to satisfied stakeholders. Therefore it is advisable to invest enough time into investigating and finding out about requirements. In the first post about requirements engineering we introduced the "Requirements Traceability Matrix" that allows you to keep track of your requirements. To fill this list with content we now want to take a closer look at possible sources and the classification of requirements.

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Aug 2, 2016

How to Keep Track of Requirements

Whenever you start a project, the first step is to find out the initial requirements. Sometimes there is already a detailed functional concept, sometimes just a vague idea. The importatnt thing is that the requirements are explicit so that the final product will be able to meet them. If requriements are vague it is hard to be sure that they are being met.

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May 24, 2016

Software Prototyping

Prototyping is a great way to get an impression of how a product or idea could look like. In manufacturing you can use e.g. 3D printers to create prototypes. In software development you still have to code but you can apply different principles compared to developing a "real" product. We want to give a short introduction into software prototyping, because it can help you to develop better software, faster.

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Jan 7, 2016

Bring Your Product Idea to Life

Lean Startup is a methodology that focuses on successfully bringing product ideas to life. The main elements of the approach are an interactive product launch, very short development iterations and as the most important element, customers´ feedback.

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Sep 22, 2015

Making Estimations

When you are working on a software development project you need to estimate the required effort for tasks or a whole project. In traditional project management (waterfall) it is necessary to estimate the overall expenses for the project before it has even started. This comes along with high uncertainties and risk. In projects that are using agile approaches the uncertainties are lower, because you only need to consider the next iteration in detail (in case of Scrum). Nevertheless it is necessary to estimate effort and there are different approaches for that.

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Aug 31, 2015

Agile Contracts

Agile approaches and methodologies are being used more and more, because the benefits of using them can be huge, e.g. improved quality of products. But often an issue arises that makes adopting agile in companies difficult: the contract with the customer. Clients often prefer fixed prices and demand a fixed set of requirements which is totally in contrast with the principles of agile approaches. This prevents that the development team can take advantage of the full potential. Lately, the awareness for this issue rose and efforts for creating contracts that support agile working are undertaken.

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Feb 3, 2015

Code Conventions

80% of lifetime costs goes to maintenance and hardly any software is maintained for its whole life by the original author. Therefore it is crucial that code is written in a comprehensible manner. Code conventions help to achieve this.

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Oct 28, 2014

Scrum vs. Kanban Part 3/3 - Example

This last part of our series about Scrum and Kanban will show an example of how projects proceed on the different boards. This again shows some advantages and disadvantages of the two methodologies and can help you to find the solution for your own project.

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Oct 15, 2014

Scrum vs. Kanban Part 2/3 - Comparison

After showing the most common reasons for using agile approaches and their basic principles in the first part of this series, the second part will compare the two methodologies that are being used the most: Scrum and Kanban. This post will provide a first insight to the mindset of Scrum and Kanban teams and it will show similarities and differences of the two tools.

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Oct 13, 2014

Scrum vs. Kanban Part 1/3 - Intro

During the last years it became common to use agile methods in software development. The most widespread ones are Scrum and Kanban. The 2013 "State of Agile" survey found that a vast majority of companies (~60%) uses Scrum or Scrum hybrids. The second place is held by Kanban and "Scrumban" with more than 10%. Compared to the survey from 2012, Kanban experienced the highest increase in usage. That is why we want to compare those two methodologies. 

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