Bob Galen’s STPCon session, entitled “Agile Testing within SCRUM”, had an interesting twist I did not expect. After a Scrum primer, Bob suggested that test teams can use a Scrum wrapper around their test activities, regardless of what the dev methodology may be.

In other words, even if you’re testing for one or more non-Scrum dev teams, you may still use Scrum to be a better test team. This is kind of a fun idea because I’ve been chomping at the bit to be part of a Scrum team. The idea is that your QA team hold the daily stand-up meetings, create a sprint backlog list, track sprint progress with a burndown chart, and end each sprint with a review meeting to reflect on sprint success/failure. You can add as many Scrum practices as you find valuable (e.g., invite project stateholders like devs/customers to prioritize sprint backlog items or attend daily meetings).

Wrapping QA practices with Scrum is actually not that difficult. For example, sprint backlog items can be bugs to retest, features to test, or test cases to write. Daily stand-up reports can be “Yesterday I tested 5 features and logged 16 bugs, today I will test these other features, and Bug13346 is blocking me from executing several tests.”



My QA team actually started holding Scrum meetings (see picture) about three months ago and it seems to help us stay more focused each day. What’s lacking is a formal sprint goal and means to track progress towards it. Bob Galen’s little session has convinced me it’s worth a try. At least to tide me over till all my devs implement Scrum!

5 comments:

  1. crayons can't code said...

    I'd heard of scrum before but never really looked into it. While googling it, came across a funny video about scrum (video on top-right):

    http://scrumy.com/about

  2. Eric Jacobson said...

    crayons can't code,

    Why must you always upstage me? Your video is waaaay better than my post.

  3. Bob Galen said...

    Eric - one of the true paybacks to sharing at conferences is seeing folks try out the ideas and gain value in the doing. Thanks for trying the technique! I hope you continue to scrum...

  4. Alex said...

    Cool! I wish I had known more back on that team compared with what I know now. Sometimes such simple methods of organization can work wonders.

  5. Yoram said...

    I have successfully used scrum and QA at a bunch of different companies. and Also have lessons to share... checkout http://scrumdev.blogspot.com



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