Virginia Alvarez

Interactive designer turned Agile Project Manager and Scrum Master. She's in charge of leading the team through each sprint and ensuring the client is involved every step of the way. Her interests include exploring new ways to make the team more efficient and learning everything there is about Agile.
All articles by Virginia Alvarez
Acquia certified site builder drupal 8

Why Project Managers Should Take the Site Builder – Drupal 8 Acquia Certification Exam

        Filed under: Converting to Drupal 8, Drupal

A couple months ago, most of my colleagues decided to take the Acquia Drupal Certifications path. Of course, most of them are developers, so it made a lot of sense for them. In my case, I’m a Project Manager, Business Analyst and tester, so it hadn’t crossed my mind until my boss brought it up; … Continued

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User Stories: the importance of knowing the WHY

        Filed under: Agile development, How to, Project Management

In the last few days I’ve been reminded of the importance of writing user stories for requirements, and more importantly, on teaching our clients of their importance. In November of last year, the client started creating a list of requirements on a spreadsheet.  Since they are not completely trained in Agile, the list of requirements … Continued

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The Importance of Setting Client Expectations (in Agile)

        Filed under: Agile development, Project Management

You start your work day as usual. Pour yourself some freshly-brewed coffee, sit down at your computer, and check your emails. You see a new one from your most recent client, about the last sprint you just completed for them. You open it and your eyes are greeted by the following: “Great job on the … Continued

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Why using size to estimate tasks is better for agile

        Filed under: Agile development, Project Management

This past month my boss and I worked on a new contract for a current client. Even though our work with them is mostly Agile, and they genuinely understand it, our past contracts with them didn’t reflect that. Our past contracts were more rigid, and invoicing was getting harder and harder. For the past few … Continued

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How to Plan a Deployment to Production as a Project Manager

        Filed under: Agile development, How to, Project Management, Web Development

In the last month, I had to be on top of four different deployments, and after four smooth (but not issue-free) runs, I’ve decided to write down a list of things I keep in mind for future deployments. Maybe that way, the deployments will finally be issue-free. So here are a few things to keep … Continued

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Why Toggl time tracker is better than JIRA tempo tracker

        Filed under: How to, Internet trends, Project Management, Technology

On my last blog post, I wrote about Why I Stopped Using the JIRA Tempo Tracker and how I instead started using toggl. And as promised, here’s my review on toggl after using it for one month. As I mentioned before, I started using toggl after Tempo’s tracker was updated and no longer omnipresent. Toggl … Continued

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Why I Stopped Using the JIRA Tempo Tracker

        Filed under: How to, Internet trends, Project Management, Technology, Things That Suck

Recently JIRA has been making a lot of changes and improvements, and going through them has been a little hard (like getting kicked out of your account and being forced to create a new one). Eventually, I got used to the changes, until Tempo tracker got “upgraded”. Tempo tracker was never the prettiest or smartest … Continued

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Agile Development: What is the difference between “Ready” and “Done”?

        Filed under: Agile development, Project Management, Web Development

When working with Agile, you will always hear the terms ready and done; they are an essential part of all agile projects. Unfortunately, some people try to use these two terms interchangeably . On this blog post, I plan to explain the difference between these two, and also try to guide you on how to … Continued

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Two hands connecting jigsaw pieces

7 Product Dimensions for User Stories

        Filed under: Agile development, Web Development

This month I was going to do the usual, write a summary about the Scrum Alliance webinar for March which was: Make Your User Stories ‘Ready’ to Get to ‘Done’, by Ellen Gottesdiener, from EBG. Instead, I decided to make this one shorter and discuss one of the key subjects she discussed: 7 product dimensions. … Continued

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American football team in a huddle

About the Webinar: High-Performance Teams – Why the ‘Who’ Matters Less

        Filed under: Agile development

This month’s webinar from the Scrum Alliance was: High-Performance Teams: Why the ‘Who’ Matters Less, by Fabian Schwartz. He began the webinar by talking about the 2004 USA Olympic Basketball team. For those of us who don’t follow the Olympics, or any sports at all, the USA Olympic Basketball team usually wins gold. But on … Continued

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Silver key in front of keyhole in white wall

About the webinar: Top 10 Secrets of Agile Transformation

        Filed under: Agile development

  I recently watched a webinar from the Scrum Alliance: Top 10 Secrets of Agile Transformation. It was delivered by Michael Sahota, founder of the Toronto Agile community. In it, Sahota shared the 10 secrets he follows when helping create a successful Agile transformation, based on his experience as a Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach℠. … Continued

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Woman on laptop performing quality assurance on a website

What is Quality Assurance?

        Filed under: Agile development, Web Development

  Let’s start with the definition: Quality Assurance (or QA) are those activities we do to ensure that whatever project we’re delivering is at the required quality level. Now for most people, those activities are all related to testing. And truthfully, whenever I think of QA and attempt to explain it to someone else, I go … Continued

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Scrum and Agile – How to handle Critical Issues that are outside of the current Sprint

        Filed under: Agile development, How to

A Critical Issue, as the name says, is always critical and meant to be dealt with immediately. Critical Issues are those issues that are currently affecting the consumer. But declaring something critical can be very subjective, which is why only the Product Owner can declare an issue as critical. As soon as it is declared critical, … Continued

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Scrum and Agile – Sprint Termination for fixed budgets

        Filed under: Agile development, How to

Sprint Termination in Agile is just another way a Product Owner can control what’s being worked on and how much time (and money) is spend on it. Sprint Termination can happen when a Product Owner decides that the current Sprint is not worth it. This could be for different reasons: Requirements have changed The backlog … Continued

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Scrum and Agile – How to do a Sprint Review

        Filed under: Agile development, How to

Before doing a step-by-step of how this event should happen, we need to identify the main deliverable of this event: A modified Product Backlog Why? With a modified Backlog you can then be prepared for the next event: Sprint Planning. Generally, these are the recommended steps to take on a Sprint Review: Demo: this is … Continued

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