QA & Testing for Agile Projects

QA and testing in an agile environment is fundamentally different from QA and testing in a traditional environment. To be sucessful on an agile team, persons coming from a traditional test background will need to totally rethink their approach to testing.

This seminar presents a disciplined approach of how to integrate QA and testing processes with the Scrum product development framework. The course is founded on the philosophy that a mature agile approaches to product development, while markedly unique, is as disciplined as any other mature product development approach.

Agile approaches to QA and testing use a different organizational structure, different metrics, different skills, different tools, and a cross-functional collaborative approach to testing roles. If you are an IT, quality, test, or project manager, you need to understand the radically different approach to test and QA metrics in a truly agile environment.

Target Audience

Any agile team member – since everyone has testing responsibilities.
The course is especially targeted to agile team members specializing in QA
Anyone responsible for leading and managing an organization’s Quality Assurance program as the organization transitions to an agile framework.

Sample Questions Addressed in the Course
1. How is QA and testing in an agile environment different from QA and testing in a traditional environment?
a. Different organization structure
b. Different metrics
c. Different skills
d. Different tools
e. Different ownership of testing activities

2. Is test planning different?
a. YES! There is still planning, but it is done incrementally

3. Are mature agile approaches to software development as disciplined as any other mature software development approach?
a. Yes, but the way we approach testing is different. It is just as rigorous, but different.

4. Will I still collect the same metrics?
a. No. Instead of measuring defects found and test cases run, you will focus your metrics on delivered defects, and minimizing elapsed time between defect insertion and defect removal.

5. Will I still have traceability from requirements to test cases?
a. Yes! All product backlog items will have acceptance criteria that are directly traceable to test cases

6. Will the QA department be in charge of Quality?
a. No. The development team will be in charge of quality. The QA department will evolve towards becoming a center of excellence.

7. Will the organizational structure for an iterative project be the same as for a traditional project?
a. No, but there are a variety of organizational structures that can work in an agile environment.

8. Will I still use risk analysis to allocate testing effort.
a. Absolutely, but it will be done more organically and less numerically.

9. I've heard agile teams automate all of their test cases. Is manual testing still needed?
a. Yes. Mature agile teams use a lot of manual testing, but it tends to be more exploratory in nature and less “scripted”

10. Given the amount of automated testing required on an agile team, will I need to learn QTP scripting?
a. Probably not, most agile automation is “under the interface” and uses tools like Fitness or a native programming language.

11. Will I need to work with the product owner to help them specify good acceptance criteria for product backlog items?
a. Yes, the product owner will need the help of someone with test design skills.

12. Will I need to help product owners slice requirements into appropriately sized PBIs.
a. Yes, test design skills are needed for this activity.

13. Will I learn the details and “why” behind the answers to the questions above?
a. Yes. That is why we are running this 2-day course.

After the completion of this two-day tutorial, participants will be able to:

Use risk analysis to allocate testing effort

Help the team develop a strong definition of done

Optimally coordinate test roles with the development roles and the product owner

Plan, create and execute effective tests for modern iterative software systems

Know how to develop system test cases from stories and acceptance criteria

Know when and how to automate testing

Help product owners slice requirements and develop good acceptance criteria

Help the team clarify and develop quality requirements

Develop an appropriate strategy for dealing with regression testing

Help developers