Skip to content

Software Development News: .NET, Java, PHP, Ruby, Agile, Databases, SOA, JavaScript, Open Source

Methods & Tools

Subscribe to Methods & Tools
if you are not afraid to read more than one page to be a smarter software developer, software tester or project manager!


CMMI Institute Publishes A Guide to Scrum and CMMI

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 17:02
Organizations that attempt to scale agile need significant structural changes and support. CMMI helps organizations reap the benefits of agile and scale its adoption across teams, divisions, and the global enterprise. CMMI Institute has released “A Guide to Scrum and CMMI: Improving Agile Performance with CMMI” to help users adopt and implement CMMI to improve performance in agile organizations. In 2015, CMMI Institute estimated that over 70% of CMMI appraised organizations reported using agile. Agile organizations struggling with issues of performance are increasingly turning to the CMMI for proven results. The CMMI Institute developed “A Guide to Scrum and CMMI: Improving Agile Performance with CMMI” as a roadmap to successfully adopt and implement CMMI and agile together. The CMMI provides a framework or map of “what” a high-performance organization must do. Agile provides particular approaches that prescribe “how” to do it. As methods and techniques are adapted and evolve, the CMMI provides the foundation on which organizations can iterate or tailor their techniques in a way that is appropriate to the dynamics of their business environment. The discipline, organizational learning, and consistency provided by the adoption of CMMI supports organizations in making their agile implementation even stronger and more effective. A Guide to Scrum and CMMI: Improving Agile Performance with CMMI is now available for download and use. For more information on CMMI and agile and to download the Guide, visit
Categories: Agile

Free Retrospective Tools for Distributed Scrum Teams

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 14:00
Even if Agile approaches favor collocated teams, distributed Scrum teams are more common that what we might think. Many Agile software development teams are based on a virtual organization. This article presents some free online tools that can be used to facilitate retrospectives for distributed Scrum teams. You will find in this article only tools that are supposed to be used for free in the long term. We do not list tools that offer only a free trial based on duration or the number of retrospectives. We will also only mention the tools that have features specifically dedicated to Scrum retrospectives. There are many other tools that Scrum teams might use, from video conferencing platforms to online whiteboard software. Mentioning all these tools will result more in a book than an article. If you want to add a tool that fits these requirements to this article, just let us now using the contact form. Updates July 19 2016: added Fun Retro January 10 2017: added goReflect, ScatterSpoke, Scrum Toolkit IdeaBoardz IdeaBoardz is a free online team collaboration tool. It allows teams to collectively gather inputs, reflect and retrospect. It is especially useful for distributed teams. For Scrum retrospectives, you can create two types of boards: standard or starfish. More board options are available (pros & cons, to-dos) that could be also useful. You can edit the titles of the sections of your board. The interface seems very intuitive, but sometimes I ended up in some situations where I didn’t know [...]
Categories: Agile

Atlassian Spends $425 million for Trello

Scrum Expert - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 15:39
Atlassian has just announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Trello, the online project management service that gained more than 19 million registered users in just five years. The acquisition is valued at approximately $425 million, which is comprised of approximately $360 million in cash and the remainder in Atlassian restricted shares, restricted share units and options to acquire Atlassian shares. Through virtual ‘sticky notes’ and digital whiteboards for organization and prioritization of work, Trello’s easy-to-use software has proven especially popular with business teams, also due to its free version. Trello is poised to be a key product in the Atlassian portfolio, providing a new way for teams to organize and prioritize the often complex range of information and idea sharing that feeds into great teamwork. In addition to launching a new version of its existing Trello integration for HipChat, Atlassian will be launching Trello integrations for its other collaboration products, including JIRA Software, Confluence and Bitbucket. The integrations will be available in the Atlassian Marketplace.
Categories: Agile

Measuring Agile Team Performance at Spotify

Scrum Expert - Wed, 01/04/2017 - 18:27
How do we actually know if our Agile teams are doing well? Is gut instinct enough? Furthermore, in a rapidly growing organization such as Spotify, how can we ensure some sort of consistency in our baseline level of Agile knowledge across the technology, product, and design organization? This talk discusses techniques we have developed and use at Spotify to benchmark health and performance for our Agile teams and some tactics we use to bring them closer to—and beyond!—being the best teams they can be. The presentation explains frameworks that can be used to give us tangible evidence about how we’re doing as teams, as Agile Coaches, and as managers of people and product. Furthermore, this talk tells you about the organization-level methods uses at Spotify to share knowledge and maintain alignment of our Agile practices as it scales in order to bring music to people all around the world. Video producer:
Categories: Agile

Major Upgrade of Virto Kanban Board for Office 365 and SharePoint

Scrum Expert - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 17:08
Using Kanban Board for task management is an excellent way to working on SharePoint integrated projects with effective team collaboration. If you want to visualize your team work and implement Scrum / Agile methodology to your SharePoint environment, Virto Kanban board is the solution you need. Virto Kanban uses any SharePoint task lists or custom lists in SharePoint 2016/2013/2010 or Office 365. The flexible settings allow you to meet almost any SharePoint project demand and display your project flow on a single board. Virto Kanban main features are: Select colors for tasks and markers. SharePoint Kanban allows you to assign colors for distinct task types and apply markers for overdue tasks or any other custom conditions. Drag & drop tasks within columns and swimlanes. Move SharePoint tasks within columns and swimlanes that can represent project stages, issue priority or distinguish sub-processes of a project. Any other statuses for swimlanes and columns can be used according your project demands. Apply view and condition filters. Display tasks with custom view filters to track with a single glance any project details. Collect statistics with graphic charts and total count of hours. With SharePoint Kanban Board, you will be always informed how many hours were spent to complete a project stage and how many tasks are assigned to each user. Statistics are displayed as color-coded charts and diagrams. Assign task management permissions and task watchers. You can delegate to certain users the rights to edit tasks on SharePoint Kanban Board and assign task watchers [...]
Categories: Agile

Agile on the Beach 2017 Call for Speakers Extended to January 11

Scrum Expert - Tue, 01/03/2017 - 16:09
Agile on the Beach is a two-day conference on Scrum and Agile approaches that will take place in Falmouth in Cornwall (UK) on 6th and 7th July 2017. The call for speaker has been extended by one week, to close on Wednesday 11th January.. The Agile on the Beach 2017 conference will focus Agile working, software creation and delivery, teams, practice and new business thinking. These themes will be organized as six tracks, some on different days: * Software delivery: including programing, testing and operations * Team Working, e.g. culture, personnel management, self-organization, leadership * Agile Practices, e.g. agile basics, applying agile tools and methods, writing user stories. * Product Design, e.g. user experience, front end design * Product Management, e.g. requirements gathering, the product manager role * Business, e.g. applying agile beyond software Get more information about Agile on the Beach 2017 Call for Speakers on
Categories: Agile

Agile Open Camp Argentina, Bariloche, Argentina, March 2-5 2017

Scrum Expert - Tue, 12/27/2016 - 09:00
The 2017 Agile Open Camp Argentina conference is a four-day event that wants to gather Agile and Scrum practitioners of Argentina and Latin America to share knowledge and experiences about Agile and Scrum. All the talks will be in Spanish. The Agile Open Camp Argentina conference follows the open space format for conferences. Open space is a simple methodology for self-organizing conference tracks. It relies on participation by people who have a passion for the topics to be discussed. There is no preplanned list of topics, only time slots and a space in the main meeting room where interested participants propose topics and pick time slots. Web site: Location for the Agile Open Camp Argentina conference: Hotel Tronador, Acceso Tronador, Lago Mascardi s/n, 8400 San Carlos De Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Categories: Agile

Agile Open Florida 2016 Report

Scrum Expert - Tue, 12/20/2016 - 14:46
Agile Open Florida is a conference organized by leaders and volunteers from the Agile Florida community who are passionate about building community and advancing all things Agile. Adam Sandman, whose company was also sponsoring Agile Open Florida 2016, has written his personal report about some of the sessions. Author: Adam Sandman, Inflectra Corporation, The 2016 Agile Open Florida conference in Orlando, FL was a welcome escape from the chill in DC, especially after a long and taxing 2016 election season. The event, co-sponsored by Inflectra, brought together the Agile community in Florida and showcased products and services offered by Inflectra, as well as its partner – OAT Solutions / Brazil. For those who could not make it to the conference, here is an official write up of the conference. OpenSpace Unlike more traditional conferences that feature keynote speakers and breakout sessions, the OpenSpace format of 2016 Agile Open Florida allowed for vastly more meaningful interaction between the participants. The central premise of this conference – that the real value is in the side conversations instead of the scripted presentations – was on-point and made those side conversations the main attraction. For a Sapient alumnus like myself, OpenSpace is not an entirely new concept, but a variant of Sapient’s “facilitated client workshops” called Fusions and RIPs. I found sessions on using agile in public schools, the role of testers and manual testing, and agile methodologies in hybrid hardware/software communities particularly stimulating. The key take-aways from these sessions were: Testers vs. [...]
Categories: Agile

Retrospective Anti-Patterns

Scrum Expert - Mon, 12/19/2016 - 19:33
Anti-Patterns are like patterns, only more informative. With anti-patterns you will first see what patterns reoccur in “bad” retrospectives and then you will see how to avoid, or remedy, the situation. Based on her experience with facilitating retrospectives, Aino Vonge Corry proposes an entertaining and informative presentation on the anti-patterns she has seen and how to overcome the problems. We also encourage the audience to chip-in with their experiences or questions along the way. Video producer:
Categories: Agile

Agile2017 Call for Speaker & Registration Open

Scrum Expert - Wed, 12/14/2016 - 17:07
The Agile Alliance invites leaders in Agile development to answer the Call for Submissions for Agile2017, Agile Alliance’s global conference that attracts practitioners, academia, business and vendor-partner community members worldwide. Agile2017 will take place August 7-11 in Orlando, Florida. Competition to speak at this Agile Alliance main conference is strong. Agilists with a story to tell should submit early. Speakers for the conference are selected via a comprehensive peer review process. Potential presenters are encouraged to carefully review the 17 available conference tracks that are accepting submissions and submit proposals under the track that most closely represents their proposed topic(s). The Agile Alliance also announced that registration for Agile2017 is now open. Conference attendees are encouraged to register and book hotel reservations early. A limited number of Super Early Bird registrations are available to Agile Alliance members on a first come, first served basis, providing a $750 discount over non-member registration fees. For more information about the Agile2017 conference, visit
Categories: Agile

Improve Backlog Management with SpiraTeam 5.1

Scrum Expert - Tue, 12/13/2016 - 16:45
Inflectra has announced the release of SpiraTeam 5.1, the latest version of its award-winning application lifecycle management (ALM) suite. This version of SpiraTeam brings together major enhancements in performance and usability along with the ability to break the project paradigm for the first time. With SpiraTeam 5.1, you can take control of even the most complex programs. SpiraTeam 5.1 provides users with the ability to have complete traceability between items in different projects, the ability to view integrated program backlogs and the ability to quickly search across all items and projects to make associations. Cross Project Traceability SpiraTeam 5.1 lets you create reusable component projects that can be composed together to handle large-scale programs and system of systems. Unlike other tools on the market, you don’t need to manually copy items between projects, you can instead have a single set of shared requirements, test cases and tasks that are used as needed. Project Planning SpiraPlan 5.1 includes new program management functionality that lets you plan your agile backlogs across multiple projects with the new project group planning board. These new features let you view the backlog of the entire project at a glance and prioritize work across all of the projects in your program simultaneously. New Searching Capabilities Taking advantage in new database free-text indexing capabilities, SpiraTeam v5.1 has a completely redesigned search interface that lets you find information 80% faster than in the previous versions. The new ranking algorithms ensure you get the most appropriate information first time around. [...]
Categories: Agile

Transforming Good Teams Into Awesome Ones

Scrum Expert - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 10:33
This is not a talk about teams. This is a talk about you and your role in developing a great team. No matter whether you are a Scrum Master, Project Manager or CTO, at least part of your job is to help your team or teams grow. In order to make this happen you need to work on two levels: The Zen Level and The Operational Level. The Zen Level is mostly about maintaining the right attitude. The Operational Level is mostly about taking the right steps. We will share our experience from Agile transformations we worked on recently, success and failure stories and steps we make while working with the teams. Join us to master the two levels while working with your people. Beware, they may become an awesome team that hardly needs you to succeed. Video producer:
Categories: Agile