Workshop Wednesday: How Agile is your testing?

Agile Australia 2016 will include a workshop on ‘Agile Testing Techniques for the Whole Team‘, led by South African-based Agile coaches Karen Greaves and Samantha Laing.

In today’s ‘Workshop Wednesday’ blog, Karen and Samantha are our guest bloggers.

Assessment – How Agile is your Testing?


Karen Greaves and Samantha Laing

We often see Agile teams that have adopted the ceremonies and language of Scrum, but in reality they do waterfall in 2 week increments. One of the easiest ways to notice this is to take a look at how a team tests. Here are some of the common warning signs we see:

  • Testers are usually extremely busy at the end of a sprint.
  • Teams have a hardening sprint before they ship where they do manual regression testing.
  • There is a growing backlog of bugs found internally but not fixed.
  • Developers are usually working on different stories to the testers because they work ahead.
  • Task boards have a test column after the dev or in progress column.

Since everyone loves an assessment, we thought we’d create one for teams to judge how Agile their testing it. Take our quiz below and see where you rank. If you are brave – please share your result in the comments 🙂

How Agile is your testing?

Score 1 point for each statement that is TRUE

  1. The whole team is clear on what should be tested for each story and feature before any coding starts.
  2. Before you discuss the solution, you make sure you understand the who and why behind any requirement.
  3. You ask, and answer the question “How will we test that?” when discussing a user story.
  4. Everyone on the team knows how to run the automated tests and read the results.
  5. You discuss what you will automate at which level so that you don’t duplicate tests between the unit, component and UI levels.
  6. Your test scripts are version controlled and labelled along with the source code, since tests are part of the working software.
  7. You don’t have a bug database because you fix bugs as soon as you find them, instead of logging them.
  8. When your continuous integration server fails, it is addressed and returned to a working state within an hour.
  9. When observing your standup meeting an outsider would not be able to tell who is a developer and who is a tester.
  10. Your team has a way to measure quality, which you use to identify if your testing process is working for you.

0 – Great news… You can only improve from here! Pick one thing in the list above to focus on for the next week.
1 to 4 Pretty good… You are thinking about testing in the right way, now just amp up some of those Agile testing practices. Add one at a time so you don’t overwhelm the team, and look for the quick wins first.
5 to 8 Nice work… You should be sharing what you are doing with others, because you probably have a few of your own practices that we don’t know about.
9 to 10 Awesome… You are an Agile testing rock star! You might like to consider writing a post for our blog, we’d love to hear your team’s story.

This blog post originally appeared on the Growing Agile blog. Check in next week for more from Karen and Sam!

Karen Greaves and Samantha Laing

Agile Testing Techniques for the Whole Team

22 June (Melbourne) and 23 June (Sydney)

Half Day (9:00am-12:30pm)

Find out more about Agile Australia 2016 and register here. Earlybird registration closes  Wednesday 27 April 2016.

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