A Confused tester in Agile World- QA a liability or an asset !!

A QA Perspective on Agility and Scrum.Focus is mainly on QA role in Scrum,Challenges & Implementation of correct QA process in Scrum.

This case study is to break the shackles of misconception or a myth that agile development places less emphasis on testing.
Some QA professionals believe that the quality of software is compromised due to the shortened periods allotted for testing, which results in releasing software that has been only partially tested.
Some think that with complete automation and continuous integration, the software testing job will become obsolete.
Contrary to the synchronous activities of a traditional Waterfall project, Scrum expects development activities to be performed in the order they are needed – i.e. asynchronously.
This break from tradition raises a common question by many of the clients, developers, and business stakeholders new to Agile – “How can testing professionals engage effectively during a sprint before anything has been built?”
This article focuses on explaining how the QA role performs agile testing and the place of importance they hold on a Scrum team.
Many think that maybe testers are not at all required and are a liability in the Agile process.

This study was an attempt to find the truth and myth.

This is an effort to look into agility and scrum from a perspective of QA. Which is although not a defined but very integral part of an agile team. I have tried to touch upon many bases as QA roles, Process, Challenges and benefits realized. How the different stages of QA contribute to Continuous Integration and Development and enables a Quality product delivery. I have a strong
belief of learning with Sharing.


This Study was executed based on survey as well contains some relevant questionnaire based on the topic. It was not limited to following questionnaire.

1. Is the team cross functional and independent to deliver functional software (story) within a sprint?
2. Do you have a setup to handle continuous integration and delivery to maintain the pace of delivery?
3. Are you using Automation to optimize effort and to improve product quality?
4. Is the deliverable at the end of the sprint / iteration ready to be shipped? (Is there a separate testing phase or deliverable from each sprint is ready to Ship?)
5. Do you adapt techniques like Mocking Objects, Simulators, and Stubs etc. to take care of dependencies within Sprint instead of waiting for delivery from other team?

6. In case of distributed team, are there a handshake / stand-up meeting daily with business partner team located remotely?
7. Are the QA activities part of DOD and are there enough time for it?
8. What is the ratio of QA to Programmers in Development team?


For all the above survey questions response, recommendation and suggestions were requested.
Based on the same model of above questionnaire set this study accumulated some real time data which helped to understand derive data on QA Practices, roles and challenges in Agile organization.
The study further helps to understand the general QA practise being followed in agile teams and tester’s mind to understand how Scrum enables complex development practices such as CI and CD, and how it influences day-to-day approaches to software development.
With this case study I would like to share with fellow learners how QA/ tester as individual and practice plays a very important role for successful delivery of Software development and what are the challenges involved.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Case Study

This study looks into and beyond the status quo of QA roles, process and perspective considering
following points:

• emphasises on the role of QA and different level of testing plays its crucial role to enable
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery in complex software development process.
• discusses how QA employs the collaborative and delivery driven model within the responsibilities
they inherit as part of an Agile team. As well emphasises is on how important it is to
integrate right QA process to agile development at the very beginning only.
• throws light on how the wrong implementation testing process turn the scrum into waterfall
model of development, and how easily this can be corrected.
• discovered challenges and findings from a QA/tester perspective. What are the difficulties it
is for distributed teams that is when development and QA activities are being handled by
independent organizations.

The task would not be easy, because there are many factors to consider. The experience of any individual
tester or test team will vary based on the organizational environment, culture, and the technology
being tested.
QA and Agile are inextricably intertwined, but quite often in Agile organizations, the art of QA is
not well understood.
This was done based on practical experience and also gaining some input and thoughts from industry
and agile experts and QA practitioners.

Learning Outcome

This study looks into and beyond the status quo of QA roles, process and perspective considering
much beyond following points:
• emphasises on the role of QA and different level of testing plays its crucial role to enable
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery in complex software development process.
• discusses how QA employs the collaborative and delivery driven model within the responsibilities
they inherit as part of an Agile team.
• As well emphasizes is on how important it is to integrate right QA process to agile development
at the very beginning only.
• throws light on how the wrong implementation testing process turn the scrum into waterfall
model of development, and how easily this can be corrected.
• discovered challenges and findings from a QA/tester perspective.
• What are the difficulties it is for distributed teams that is when development and QA activities
are being handled by independent organizations.

Target Audience

Business Leaders, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Developers, Testers, QA professionals

schedule Submitted 11 months ago

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