According to the 11th annual State of Agile report by VersionOne, one of the top five reasons for adopting Agile is to “enhance software quality”. In spite of this aspiration, a common pattern in Agile rollouts is the failure to set quality goal improvements from the outset. It is often assumed that if you implement Agile/Scrum then quality will just take care of itself. As many organizations quickly discover, you cannot just “deploy Agile” and expect it to be the silver bullet for a software organizations’ quality issues. Why is this happening so frequently? Is it due to methodical deficiencies, unrealistic expectations, fundamental misunderstanding of Agile, lack of executive support, too much existing technical debt or all of the above?

If you are questioning whether your Agile rollout is really helping you deliver higher quality software, faster, then this talk is a must to attend. I will discuss the approach I have successfully used in a number of organizations which involves; identifying the necessary building blocks to establish a quality mindset in an organization, moving the organization to a test first mindset, helping the Product Management organization become more Agile, and finally setting the right level of test automation so that you can deliver quality software faster.

If you are serious about doing Agility at scale, you cannot realistically achieve that goal without ensuring that each team individually delivers quality, and in-turn whole projects/programs that incorporate outputs from the individual teams are delivering quality software. To successfully scale quality, you will need to follow the ‘blueprint’ provided in this presentation.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

The approach revealed in this talk comes from working with organizations delivering software in a wide range of industries and with both small engineering teams and large engineering teams of 500+ engineers. I have worked with teams that deliver all kinds of software (Mobile, Browser, desktop, SaaS, IoT, etc…) and with teams that are co-located and geographically dispersed. Since the recommendations come from a wide spectrum of industries, applications and teams, people attending the talk will be able to relate it to their organization and apply concrete ideas to help them enable their teams so that quality can be built in.

Time-wise, I expect a 35-minute talk with audience participation followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.

  • Overview of the some of the most common quality pitfalls. (5 min)
  • What are the building blocks required to building a quality mindset in the organization? (5 min)
  • Discussion on the role of an Agile Coach in helping adopt a Test First Mindset. (5 min)
  • Discussion and review of the Product Management team and how this organization needs to be an Agile Product Management organization in order to ensure that Agile is successful. (5 min)
  • A review of 3 popular Test First approaches with recommendations on when to use which one. (5 min)
  • The role of DevOPS to scaling quality (5 min)
  • Examples of how you could build an assessment tool (Quality Software Index) which can help teams measure their current level of quality. (5 min)
  • Implementing the right amount of Test Automation at the team level and scaling it for larger organizations. (5 min)
  • Q&A (5 min)

Learning Outcome

  • What are the common quality pitfalls that organizations face when deploying Agile/Scrum.
  • Basic building blocks required for establishing a quality mindset in the organization.
  • How can an Agile Coach enable the Agile/Scrum team using creative-destruction techniques so that the team and organization adopts a Test-First Mindset?
  • How to breakdown the Dev/QA wall that exists in scrum teams that are not working well.
  • How to ensure that the Product Management organization is an Agile Product/Portfolio Management organization.
  • How to assess the current state of quality from the team’s perspective.
  • What should an organization’s Definition of Done include so that the team is building in quality?
  • Should an organization use TDD, ATDD or BDD to help build in quality?
  • How much Test Automation should you plan for in your Agile/Scrum rollout?

Target Audience

Product Owners, Scrum Masters, Developers, QA

Prerequisites for Attendees

Experience in rolling out multiple Agile teams either as a practitioner or as an agent of change.



schedule Submitted 3 years ago

  • 40 Mins

    Although self-organizing teams are crucial to carrying out a successful Agile transformation, organizations that implement Agile at scale invariably realize that the introduction of such teams forces the organization to re-engineer numerous aspects of its operating philosophy. In particular, various management layers are often removed. The individuals in these layers are routinely re-purposed or laid off.

    This talk highlights the approaches I used as an Agilist in various organizations to help people in different roles on their journey of transitioning into the world of Agile. Specifically, the talk will focus on 5 key roles: Project Managers, Product Managers, BA Managers, Development Managers, and QA Managers. It will provide insight into how managers can effectively transition to some of the new Agile roles, or redefine their existing role to effectively fit in an Agile world.

    The emphasis in this talk is on pragmatic strategies for managers that are struggling to find their place in this new Agile world. Armed with these strategies, participants will be able to effectively adapt to the Agile transformation, as well as discover potential new career paths for themselves and for the individuals reporting to them.