Keynote at Agile Testing Days Berlin 2013
If you’re involved with software development, there is probably no way you can ignore it anymore: the agile approach. With everyone talking about it, there is a certain pressure to adopt agile methods. This brings with it the danger of introducing a bunch of practices without placing enough emphasis on the two main success factors: continuously improving software and continuously improving teams.
The latter is usually driven more or less automatically by the self-interest of the directly affected individuals – after all, nobody deliberately wants to be inefficient. "Continuously improving software" on the other hand will almost certainly go wrong at first, because trust and feedback are much harder to establish between stakeholders (customers, team) than within a team. This often leads to efficient teams building the wrong product, or, even worse, just investing into iterative delivery without enjoying any of its benefits.
Efficiency is therefore just one component for ensuring a good return on investment when adopting Agile. In this talk, I want to focus on the other part – effectiveness – and how it impacts on the way teams collaborate with their customers. I'll introduce a few techniques (Story Mapping, Specification-By-Example) that support this change and present examples from past projects in the financial and public sector where they proved successful.