Fearless Change

Mary Lynn Manns, Linda Rising

Mentioned 3

* *Individuals and organizations fear change; this book helps you overcome that fear and make it work for you! *Helps you assess your organization's culture and accurately predict the level and speed of change that will be most effective * Teaching points are supported by illustrative case studies

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My company is fairly new to unit testing our code. I've been reading about TDD and unit testing for some time and am convinced of their value. I've attempted to convince our team that TDD is worth the effort of learning and changing our mindsets on how we program but it is a struggle. Which brings me to my question(s).

There are many in the TDD community who are very religious about writing the test and then the code (and I'm with them), but for a team that is struggling with TDD does a compromise still bring added benefits?

I can probably succeed in getting the team to write unit tests once the code is written (perhaps as a requirement for checking in code) and my assumption is that there is still value in writing those unit tests.

What's the best way to bring a struggling team into TDD? And failing that is it still worth writing unit tests even if it is after the code is written?


What I've taken away from this is that it is important for us to start unit testing, somewhere in the coding process. For those in the team who pickup the concept, start to move more towards TDD and testing first. Thanks for everyone's input.


We recently started a new small project and a small portion of the team used TDD, the rest wrote unit tests after the code. After we wrapped up the coding portion of the project, those writing unit tests after the code were surprised to see the TDD coders already done and with more solid code. It was a good way to win over the skeptics. We still have a lot of growing pains ahead, but the battle of wills appears to be over. Thanks for everyone who offered advice!

TDD is about design! So if you use it, you will be sure to have a testable design of your code, making it easier to write your tests. If you write tests after the code is written they are still valuable but IMHO you will be wasting time since you will probably not have a testable design.

One suggestion I can give to you to try to convince your team to adopt TDD is using some of the techniques described on Mary Linn and Linda Rising book : Patterns for Introducing new Ideas

What are the challenges of transition a team in a corporate atmosphere from a traditional non-iterative, spec list, gantt chart, phase dependent team to a more iterative approach?

Moreover, what was a successful way to gain acceptance with other groups while using a newer development strategy?

You may be interest in the book Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas by Lynn Manns and Linda Rising. It is a compendium of experience in introducing agile methods into organizations.

We are acting Scrum in our department now. But the up level management structure is traditional, such as Project Manager(PM), Development Manager(DM), Team Leader(TL) and Test team leader(TTL).

Team Leader act as a Scrum master, he controls all the things in our team: communicated with PM/DM/TTL, development management... Our PO's responsibility is just maintaining PBL.

Our managers and team member are accustomed to the traditional management type, they do not care Scrum, and they said some Scrum rules are hidebound. I act as another SM, I want to change the current status.

But I haven't any headship, just is an ordinary developer in our department. Does anyone has this kind of bother too?

Thanks in advance!

I heard a lovely saying once and can't remember who said it. "They want Agile but they don't know what it is - so we give them Agile but we don't know what they want."

It sounds as if this is happening in your company. Someone, somewhere wants the team to use Scrum, but it's not the team.

That must be a difficult job for an SM, especially if you're doing it unofficially! There are some things I can suggest for you. First, learn some basic coaching techniques: positive language, GROW framework and giving and receiving feedback. This will give you some additional tools which are outside of Scrum and support someone in a leadership rather than a management position (even an unofficial SM can become a leader).

Then, don't worry about the actual practices. If someone has mandated Scrum then the team will be forced to do this anyway. Instead, concentrate on the values and principles of Scrum - particularly collaboration, communication and transparency. Help the team to work with each other instead of being silo'd away. You will have to be an example for them. Don't mandate pair programming, but do go over and pair. Don't mandate stand-ups, but do have conversations first thing in the morning and draw in as many people on the team as you can. Look at the principle of "Continuous Improvement". Learn how to do root cause analysis and the 5 Why's so that the team can understand better why things are hard and take action themselves.

I also recommend Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising "Fearless Change". This will help you to work out who else could help you.

Finally, I will echo @sjt. Don't commit Scrum suicide. However, if it's something you really want and your company aren't doing it in the right way, don't be afraid to look elsewhere. Learn some of the fundamentals, practice TDD on your own and find a new job.

Whatever you do, good luck! The first step to change is desire.