Inspire Quality Services

Papers and Publications

Fran O'Hara, Inspire Quality Services Managing Director and Senior Consultant is a regular speaker at seminars and conferences throughout Europe. His presentations include:

Archives

Former 'Opinion Pieces' in Microsoft Word format (.doc) can be downloaded by clicking links from the list below:

Workshop on Effective User Stories

Abstract

User stories are simple, brief descriptions of functionality told from the perspective of a user. In Scrum or any agile development project, they are written to capture functionality a user or customer wants and they form the basis of the product backlog. This workshop will discuss, with examples and short exercises, how to write effective user stories including acceptance criteria. It will discuss the roles involved in their development, typical pitfalls and how stories can be used to estimate and support release planning.


Download Agile Tour User Story Workshop V1 (PDF Document, 635KB)


Agile Requirements Management with User Stories

Abstract

User stories are simple, brief descriptions of functionality told from the perspective of a user. In Scrum or any agile development project, they are written to capture functionality a user or customer wants and they form the basis of the product backlog. This presentation will discuss, with examples, how to write effective user stories including acceptance criteria. It will discuss the roles involved in their development and how stories can then be used to estimate and plan the agile project and also to drive testing.
Agenda:

  • Why user stories?
  • Backlogs, Epics, Stories, Acceptance Criteria...
  • Estimation and Planning with Stories

Download Agile Requirements (PDF Document, 1.39MB)


Evolving Agile Testing

Abstract

There is an increasing body of knowledge on what works and what doesn't in relation to testing on agile projects. This track presentation is derived from the author's experiences of working with organisations implementing agile testing. It will cover both the challenges and the solutions that have been shown to work best in practice as testing evolves to meet the challenges of agile projects.
The presentation covers:

  • Brief overview of agile and the main agile methods
  • Requirements in agile and the relationship with testing
  • Effective agile testing strategies
  • Test Roles in agile
  • Lessons learnt adopting agile and specifically agile testing

Download Evolving Agile Testing (PDF Document, 2MB)


Effective Agile Testing

Abstract

Paper delivered by Fran O'Hara at the Agile Tour 2011 in Dublin.
There is an increasing body of knowledge on what works and what doesn't when integrating test into agile projects. This presentation outlines the author's experiences of both the challenges and the solutions that have been shown to work best in practice. Topics such as agile test strategy, test automation, agile test techniques and test roles are addressed.
Topics include:

  • Introduction to Agile/Scrum
  • Test challenges with Agile/Scrum
  • Agile Test Strategy & Automation
  • Role of the tester

Download Effective Agile Testing (PDF Document, 530KB)


European experiences with Software Process Improvement

Abstract

This paper will provide a brief overview of the status of Software Process Improvement (SPI) in Europe - its history, current situation and future direction. Four case studies will then be presented covering a diverse range of business domains, organisational sizes and approaches to SPI. The author has worked closely with each of the organisations involved in support of their SPI programmes. The case studies will show the starting position of each company, the approach taken, results achieved and lessons learnt. A number of themes such as assessment approach used, cultural/people issues, etc. will be used to explore the experiences of the various companies. The four case studies are:

  • NewWorld Commerce (formerly Cunav Technologies)
  • Motorola Cork
  • Silicon and Software Systems
  • Allied Irish Bank

Assessment models used include SPICE (ISO/IEC TR 15504) [1] and Software Engineering Institute's CMM [2] (one organisation also achieved ISO9001 certification).

Download European experiences with Software Process Improvement (MS Word Document, 132KB)


Software/Test Process Improvement - Partners in Crime

Abstract

This powerpoint slide presentation explores the relationship between Test Process Improvement (TPI) and Software Process Improvement (SPI). It addresses the following:

  • How do SPI models (e.g. SEI CMM) address testing
  • What is the relationship between TPI and SPI?
  • How to approach practical test process improvement

Download Software/Test Process Improvement - Partners in Crime (Zip file, 174KB)


Contradictions within an evolving inspection process

Abstract

This presenataion discusses the contradictions that are inherent in inspection processes but which only come to light during process deployment, practice and maintenance. We explore issues and contradictions relating, for example, to deployment approaches, human factors, metrics and inspection customisation. Conclusions and practical guidelines are provided to help manage these contradictions. Motorola Cork, Ireland (a SEI CMM level 4 organisation) has experienced many of these contradictions since they introduced a formal inspection process over 5 years ago. In this presentation they provide their insights into these contradictions and describe what has worked well and what hasn't as their inspection process evolves.

Download Contradictions within an evolving inspection process (Powerpoint '97 zip file, 112KB)


Optimising Peer reviews/Inspections for individual learning and team building

Abstract

The individual learning and team building benefits of the formal review/inspection process are often not appreciated and sometimes even completely ignored. Perhaps this is not surprising given the obvious magnitude of the more direct benefits which inspections can yield, for example, a return on investment of 10. However, there are organisations that can justify the use of the process based on the learning benefits alone. This paper discusses these learning and team building benefits and the associated development and retention of a quality culture in an organisation. The aim is also to increase awareness of the people and cultural issues surrounding inspections. It provides practical guidance on how to optimise the process to enhance both the indirect and direct benefits and also on how to avoid the many pitfalls which undermine effective learning and team building.

Download Optimising Peer reviews/Inspections for individual learning and team building (MS Word Document, 238KB)


Achieving maximum benefits from formal reviews/inspections - strategies and case studies

Abstract

Formal reviews/inspections are currently a 'hot topic' with many references and case studies detailing, in quantitative terms, the benefits that can be achieved. They have been practiced for over twenty years and yet there are many organisations not using them to anywhere near their full potential. Indeed, many examples exist where introducing a review/inspection process and/or maintaining an effective process have failed. This paper analyses some case studies from the real world of dubious success (and sometimes even failure) and focuses on some of the key issues which caused problems. The aim is point out the pitfalls and highlight the key elements in achieving maximum benefits from introducing and maintaining a formal review/inspection process. A strategy to deploy the process is presented which encapsulates some of the lessons learnt.

Download Achieving maximum benefits from formal reviews/inspections - strategies and case studies (MS Word Document, 229KB)


News & Events

Latest Events

Agile, Scrum, Lean-Kanban and ISTQB Public training schedule 2017

(Dublin venue unless otherwise stated)


ISTQB Foundation in Software Testing
:
- Aug 29-31 Cork (via it@cork)

 

ISTQB Advanced Test Manager
- Sept 11-15 Dublin (via Software Skillnet)


ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst
:
- Sept 18-21 Kerry TBC (via it@cork)

 

For pricing and course information...

Click here for more details ...


Latest News

ISTQB Certified Tester: Foundation Level Extension - Agile Tester

Inspire QS have been accredited to deliver training leading to this new qualification. Our first public course is on Oct 27-28 in Dublin. See www.istqb.org for details on the qualification including syllabus and sample exam. 

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Lean/Kanban

Free recorded webinars
by Fran O'Hara and Colm O'hEocha
1. ABC of Kanban
2. Lean/Agile/Kanban - The economies of Speed

Lean/Agile funding available

Enterprise Ireland now funding Lean/Agile programmes for eligible companies.
Contact us or click here for details