Planning User Acceptance Tests in parallel with the product complexity increase

(Munich, Germany) Some time ago, I wrote about the value taken with the execution of Proof of Concepts (POCs), and how important they are to give us confidence for future decisions. I would like to go back to this matter because I believe POCs are an important starting points to scale product complexity. At the same time, there is a task we can handle in order to improve product quality: User acceptance tests (UAT). So if we do it well we can increase product complexity and plan UAT in an incremental process of  add/ develop new features and also other non-functional requirements.
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Why is so hard to educate a waterfall project manager to take a role in a Scrum Team?

(Cabanas Beach, Portugal) A lot was written already in this blog about why we have more advantages adopting Agile methods. The truth is, once an organization decides for an Agile Transformation, adopting Agile methods and, particularly Scrum practice, to train and educate resources can be a terrifying challenge. Even with training, the roles will change. The background experience required for a Scrum Master or Product Owner role, for instance, is very different from what normally it comes with an experienced resource acting as project manager in waterfall methods since many years.
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Annoyances: How to deal with critical issues, not planned, entering in the middle of the sprint or release

It’s always annoying when something comes up out of the plan and the team must fix it or manage it inside the sprint. Unfortunately, we must deal with unpredictability. Nevertheless, is always good to analyze why we had to deal with those annoyances.
What can be considered an annoyance? In my opinion, we can consider as critical bugs or unplanned change requests, we receive during the sprint or release and we must integrate or fix it within the sprint. In this post, we will approach, in a generic way some reasons for this and if it happens, who will report it into the backlog and which other measures should we consider to keep the sprint in a normal speed.
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If you are out of software industries and you are planning to hire and IT Product Owner, you must read this post!

The Product Owner role for a software product in an industry where the core business is not IT is a business enabler, a business transformation agent and an innovation partner. Someone who his success depends on the success of the business he supports. Sometimes it reminds me a marriage, an alliance.
In this post I would like to share my thoughts about the required skill set we should look for, when hiring one. Continue reading “If you are out of software industries and you are planning to hire and IT Product Owner, you must read this post!”

What can we learn from bugs?

(Berlin, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe) – Some weeks ago, when I visited the Memorial, the feeling of loneliness and lack of direction invaded me. I think this is the main achievement of the architect (Peter Eisenman)… bring this feeling to the visitors. And from the position in the picture I asked to myself “What have we learned from this horror?”. Inspired by a continuous learning for a continuous improvement, I would like to make the question applied to bugs and change requirements (CR), but particularly in this post: what can we learn from bugs? We should take them all as improvement opportunities.

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Bugs, change requirements and the PO dilemma

In my last post I didn’t have room to explore other backlog issues, which become more important once it starts the implementation phase: bugs (or defects) and change requirements (or change requests – CR). Bugs must be included in the backlog, they will take capacity to be solved and they bring user dissatisfaction. In this post we will touch different questions: which type of bugs and CRs we can face, in which contexts we will face them, who normally will report them into the backlog and the product owner dilemma between occupy capacity with new feature or fixing bugs or improving/ adapting product details (CR).
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Get ready for a Release plan negotiation!

A release plan is an extremely important negotiation process. It should be factual, considering dependencies, anticipating risks and sharing with your Product Owner concerns, plans to improve the product in non functional requirements (e.g. QA, Security, Performance, etc.). You are managing expectations, challenging how reliable is the predictability of your Dev team. But should you only consider your MPP? How can you avoid emotions in the release planning process?
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How do you define a PoC?

Sometime it can be really hard to structure a Proof of Concept. To acknowledge the time for implementation, to define the goals or the learnings we want to reach by the end of the implementation are often difficulties. So a PoC must have a clear,  small and reachable scope within the upon agreed small period of time. This post is all about the logic I follow to support my decisions to structure a PoC.

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The reason why the applications and systems portfolio management methods do not fit more into the current business reality

(Antwerp, Belgium) I write to you from the city where the concept of logistics was reinvented over time, to talk about the management of systems portfolio and software requirements and how the most traditional methods are not consistent with the current reality.
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