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Janet Gregory - Learning culture critical for Agile Success


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In software development, regardless of what we do, we need to be learning all the time. Many times it is only the application. Sometimes it is new methods and processes. Sometimes it is new ways to analyze, develop or test an application. It may be new languages or new tools. Perhaps most importantly, we learn different ways of dealing with people. In today’s world, testers are expected to have ‘soft skills’ to collaborate as well as have more technical knowledge than ever before. Janet Gregory share ideas about how to approach this learning curve and the different influences which help us succeed.

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Janet Gregory - Learning culture critical for Agile Success

  1. 1. Janet Gregory, DragonFire Inc. Copyright 2015 Krakow ALE November 15, 2015 @janetgregoryca With input from Lisa Crispin 1
  2. 2. Agile Testing; 2009 More Agile Testing: Oct 2014 Website: DragonFire Inc. @janetgregoryca
  3. 3. to show that a learning culture is critical for agile success 3 ….. with a focus from an agile testing perspective
  4. 4. 4 • Defined by its o Values o Norms o Assumptions • Social System • Collective Beliefs • Visible Artifacts o Icons o Rituals o Vocabulary o Language
  5. 5. 5 • Leadership • Design of an organization • Decision making process • Sub-cultures • History of an organization • Personal values
  6. 6. • Lack of trust • Collaboration / communication • Misunderstandings 6
  7. 7. …. So let’s talk a bit about things team members are expected to learn and ways that might help us 7 ….. all this influences how we learn
  8. 8. Testing Specific Issues Too many dependencies
  9. 9. Programming Specific Issues Too many dependencies
  10. 10. Multi- discipline skills Expert Discipline skills Individuals - T-Shaped Skills
  11. 11. Square-shaped Team See links for more by Rob Lambert and Adam P. Knight
  12. 12. Thinking Skills Soft Skills Agile Principles Technical Skills Expertise Skill Domain Knowledge
  13. 13. Problem Solving Systems Thinking
  14. 14. • Common language • Use examples • Question everything
  15. 15. Use tests and examples for shared understanding and common language
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. • Be constructive • Focus on the problems, not the person • Collaborative approach – “Show me”
  18. 18. Is about honouring yourself, the other people involved, and the context you are in Based on learning from Jamie Ungerleider Congruence – Jerry Weinberg, Virginia Satir
  19. 19. • In the past ◦ Pre Industrial Revolution ◦ Industrial Revolution • Now and in the Future • Information Age • Life-long Learning
  20. 20. Individual learning Organizational learning We need both
  21. 21. • Foster a learning culture ◦ Tolerate mistakes ◦ Personal safety • Give time to experiment, to try, to learn 21
  22. 22. • Think constantly of other teams or team members • Extend help to others • Provide visibility into current quality of the product 23
  23. 23. Experiment! • Pair • Study group, book club • Community of Practice • Online resources • What fits your learning style?
  24. 24. Be Curious
  25. 25. And always, strive for quality!
  26. 26. Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team By Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin Contact info Email: Twitter: janetgregoryca 27
  27. 27. Instead of saying NO, or being the gatekeeper Be the information provider so business can make the decisions Questions? 28
  28. 28. • Karten, Naomi, "Are You Listening?",, Agile Connection, 2009 • Knight, Adam P., "T-shaped Tester, Square Shaped Team",, 2013 • Lambert, Rob, "T-shaped Testers and Their Role In a Team", team/ , 2012 • Levison, Mark, "The Beginner's Mind - An Approach to Listening",, InfoQ, 2008 • McMillan, Darren, "Mind Mapping 101", for Testing:, 2011 • and