Agile Insider reality bytes…


Concordion Plus

Concordion PlusI've written in the past about Using English to write Acceptance Tests and the tool I choose/advocate is without doubt Concordion.  Customers love seeing their stories come alive, but I've found developers can sometimes struggle to differentiate these from JUnit tests, particularly since JUnit is used to provide the execution mechanism.

I've also found that in many of the situations/organisations where I have introduced Concordion, a single story has required several tests and although the Concordion guide does present some excellent techniques to deal with this, teams new to writing acceptance tests will be uncomfortable capturing stories in this format and customers might not be happy that all their acceptance criteria are being met.  I am therefore pleased to be releasing Concordion+ to the wild.  At the moment it is a simple extension to Concordion which allows developers to create individual scenarios (or test cases) within a single story and also to ignore the scenarios they are actively working on.  In addition, a new JUnit runner captures the state of each of these scenarios independently and reports them in the common IDEs while also allowing developers to use the JUnit @Before and @After annotations.  This should simplify adoption by developers since they now have a JUnit lifecycle they understand.

I have to send a huge thank you to Nigel Charman for the concordion-extensions project which helped immensely with my development.  And of course I can't dare not mention the excellent work by David Peterson on Concordion itself and particularly the facility to write extensions 😉

I hope you enjoy using it as much as I enjoyed creating it...


Emotional Agile – Weather Poker

Ever since I attended a session by Rachel Davies on Project Mapping at SPA 2005 I have been interested in simple ways to use emotions to engage teams.  On a recent gig for exoftware I introduced weather poker at the end of the daily stand-ups as a way to measure the feelings of the team.

Weather Symbols from edupics

Weather Symbols from edupics

In essence, each member of the team was given cards with weather symbols ranging from thunder to sunny.  We would then take a vote on what yesterday felt like and average out the results.  A larger image was then made highly visible on our information radiator for all to see.  Despite this being a small experiment, it did look like this was a very quick and effective way to allow the team to express how they were feeling.  Indeed, the one day when the team decided to display the thunder symbol lead to an intense interest from the on-site customer.

If you would like to try this in your team, I have attached a pdf with the cards ready to print and laminate.

PDF: weather-poker