Someone asked me what should happen to the testers now that the developers were moving to Agile. How should they handle the new situation? This is how I answered:
I think your best bet would be to integrate with the development teams. Here are two things you could start thinking about:
- Backlog items need to be INVEST where T = Testable. Is it testable? Someone from your team needs to decide this. If it is not testable, you cannot accept that it enters the backlog, much less the sprint because you will look bad when you cannot deliver the tests. I have seen many occasions where T was not respected with the result that delivery could never be completed. Unhappy customer, unhappy team.
- I am sure that you are familiar with the V for verification? Your job is to cover the top part of the V, that is both \ and /, inside each sprint. That means that the job of the tester start on day 1 with analyzing the requirements and working with the customer to elicit the specific tests that are implicit in the requirement. This knowledge needs to be shared with developers throughout the sprint. No one should be “surprised” at the end of the sprint by the work that your team members provide.
- Often in immature teams “developers” have higher status than “testers” and thus any excuse to ignore testing aspects of a backlog item are received with happiness (confirmation bias). Until the team has reached a maturity level where it can leverage the multifunctional diversity, you need to make sure that testing is not ignored. These are generalist teams with specialist roles.
- There could still be an additional separate testing team for eg load and performance testing, penetration testing. The majority of the testing should be done in the teams, in the sprints.
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