Sunday, January 09, 2011

Build Blocked at the end of Week 1

The team implemented their new process and this was the first week in action.  They started off with a large bottleneck in the acceptance test column.  The team quickly moved through the bottleneck.

As an outside observer the testers seemed to be happier.  They were actively involved at the start of the process rather than at the end.  Developers were completing acceptance test quickly and what appeared to be efficiently.  Blocked stories were obviously labeled on the board.  There definitely was a buzz in the air.

I did over hear a couple of developers wondering why the hell are we doing this, "Seems like we are reinventing the wheel!"  There were a couple of developers who were blocked.  So there was more time for foosball.

The teams goal was to have a branched release candidate by the close of business on Thursday.  Unfortunately at the close of business on Friday testers had found enough defects that a clean build did not exist.  The release is due out Tuesday.

It will be very interesting to see how things go on Monday.  Will the testers be able to adjust their regression testing pattern in order to get out a solid release.

As an outside observer I really enjoy collaborating with the test and development leads.  I shared two observations with respect to their kanban board.  Looking at the board there were numerous stories that were marked as blocked.  To me it was not clear from the board who owned the action item to unblock the story.  The other suggestion that I made was that they also need some sort of issue board or list, so everyone on the team knows what things are impeding the process flow.

The new 9 foot magnetic board is in.  The team has created some magnetic buttons with their personal avatars.  Lets just say some of the avatars are quite interesting, but I think it adds a bit of fun to the process.  They also created the yuck face buttons, which they can apply to blocked stories.  I am looking forward to seeing this board in action.

Oh one more very positive observation was that the team was able to move a few more defects through the process than were original scheduled.  I liked the buzz of the new process and testers know what to test.

Several of the team members were able to collaborate over an 18 page Power Point document and condense the material down into a handful of cukes.  Cukes are executable requirements from the open source tool, Cucumber.  Soon we will implement the strategy to automate the cukes.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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