Agile Practices Applied to Line Management – Planning

Agile in Conventional Project Line Management

The following is a story from a couple of years back.  The story is about lengthy set of verification activities (multiple iterations) in a large conventionally run project.  As many a test engineer will relate, testing is always cramped for time. Meaning, the time we want the answers is much less than the time required getting those answers. This project was not different.  I have experience in agile and have used these tools in other project capacities.  However, this was a large project of which I was responsible for the verification group’s activities.  I am a line manager (in this instance the agile role more like a scrum master) in a matrix organization so the verification team members of the project report to me as well as the project manager.

Scope of Work

The first step is to identify the scope of the work.  We found all of the implicated specifications and identified all requirements … Continue reading

“I know, I know!”

Beware the “I know, I know” syndrome from an enthusiastic employee. The event occurs when the employee remembers a similar incident with a returned part, production line failure, or software issue. Unfortunately, reasoning from effects to causes is actually a logical fallacy called “affirming the consequent.”

We cannot assume that a given effect has but one cause. Hence, when we have an untoward incident in our business, we need to be aware of our assumptions as we confront the problem–something more easily stated than accomplished. When we test, we always need to take some extra steps to try and very the specific cause for the effect we are seeing and avoid the logical fallacy.

We can apply the same thinking to good things that occur as well. Often, we don’t really understand what is causing the salubrious effect we are seeing. Even worse, we may be seeing the effect of a relatively random cause but still assign the cause to … Continue reading

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