DEV+QA in the same sprint -- How's it possible?

Following up on our last meeting about test automation, you told us you wanted to know how to get QA and DEV working closer together so they can complete their work within the sprint--is it magic? We'll discuss the challenges and ways to make it happen.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    The best way possible.

    September 19, 2013

  • Rebekah

    Last night was my first dfw scrum meetup. I enjoyed it but was not able to stay long enough to ask some follow-up questions. My org is new to agile and scrum. One thing we are struggling with is a groomed backlog, lack of acceptance criteria, and two product owners. Can someone speak to how acceptance criteria is developed and how it plays into definition of ready? Thanks! Rebekah

    September 18, 2013

    • Dave N.

      OK, so I think you're also struggling with counting. You said you were struggling with one thing, but then listed three things. So there are four things: Groomed backlog, acceptance criteria, multiple product owners, and counting to three. ;-)

      2 · September 18, 2013

    • Dave N.

      I hit enter too soon. I'm struggling with that. So, Allen makes good points regarding acceptance criteria and moving toward BDD. You might check into BDD and see how it works and whether it might be helpful in your situation. It will influence the way you craft the acceptance criteria, and help people arrive at concrete, unambiguous, and testable criteria. The backlog problem and multiple POs may be related issues. If your team provides service to more than one business process, then prioritiztion has to occur at a level above that of the two POs. Otherwise you can get into the "squeaky wheel" thing. Sometimes this can be accomplished by having a conversation with the POs. Other times they don't want to collaborate with each other and you have to escalate. This could be a good job for the ScrumMaster, who is charged with helping people use Scrum effectively and with removing impediments from the team's path.

      September 18, 2013

  • Keshav B.

    I am sorry Missed this one.
    But here are my views. I feel that Without proper QA a sprint is incomplete. Here are few pints that I feel are the trick,
    - Break the stories down to smaller stories. Actual output of the sprint will remain same but because we have smaller stories QA can jump in early.
    - Multiple pigs swarm to finish one task at a time (if possible).
    - QA can utilize sprint starting days to create test cases/plan and then share it with developers who could unit test based on that. this would minimize QA effort and certainly the number of bugs and hence the time spent on creating/communicating and fixing those issues.
    - Last but not the least- Rule of Scrum is that the "Wall belongs to All". So who is stopping the Developers to help QA. Pigs in need and the Pigs indeed!

    September 17, 2013

    • Allen M.

      Amit. Far from undermining I have seen how involving devs in QA actually strengthens the QA position. Good QA is hard and requires a specific skill set. Devs need to be coached and encouraged and I see them often coming to me now for guidance on testing. The QA in this scenario becomes a domain expert in QA and works to raise the whole teams ability.

      2 · September 18, 2013

    • Keshav B.

      I agree with Allen. All dev is doing is helping QA, that too not always, its only when required. Qa have already prepared the test cases and when required ask dev to jump in and test using those test cases. Dev will still go to QA for any question they have.
      Dev may not be the expert QA but will have an Expert guiding them.
      I have even seen QA picking up Dev tasks, when required!

      September 18, 2013

  • John H.

    Great meeting, but like others have said, we need a bigger room and more beer!
    I guess I've either been lucky, or that my clients actually take my advice. I am now coaching my third team for a large oil and gas company and they do assign business partners to the project team. We have no need for BAs since the business is there doing the work, and only one QA guy since the business is doing all the testing.
    That eliminates the middle man. If the business is happy with what they are getting all is well. The one QA person does some of the more complex "white box" testing and ensures that the test coverage is acceptable.

    September 18, 2013

  • Lance D.

    It was great to see the interaction among the groups, I am hoping that folks with burning questions got them answered.

    September 18, 2013

  • John G.

    Our meeting was filled with realistic review of the business on the tech industry. My encounters while on the technical side have left me focusing on the sustainability of a company that I would create. I have tried this before the crash of 2008. The rule if you borrow VC funding it is your investors that are to be taken care first. It is the rule of the jungle that reigns today due to the economy presently. It zapped me financially so I am rebuilding. I like helping others but I have no one helping me. I have to help myself to get to where I need to be. Then I can help others again! Not a fun time at the ranch!
    Regards
    John Gostomski

    September 18, 2013

  • John G.

    The QA aspect came up in discussion but is has always been a integral part of the technology process. It cannot be ignored as are the techniques used in the past to achieve spectacular results.

    September 18, 2013

  • Omni A.

    Couldn't get in.

    September 17, 2013

    • Omni A.

      Paper signs might also be a nice touch.

      September 17, 2013

    • Lance D.

      Oh you mean the front door, so sorry about that. It appears they lock the door around 6:30 and usually have someone to open it. We will think about how to solve that. Thanks Omni.

      September 17, 2013

  • John H.

    The answer is "absolutely". How else can you have production ready stories!

    September 17, 2013

  • Michelle Reilly W.

    I think that is a great topic. Can not wait to hear perspectives on collaboration.

    September 12, 2013

  • Keshav B.

    This is one of the first questions we ask when starting with SCRUM! Looking fwd for a good discussion.

    September 9, 2013

  • Eric P. N.

    I'll be out of town this week but I love the emphasis we've been putting on delivering quality during a Sprint as a community!

    September 9, 2013

  • Amit

    Would love to know more about using TDD within a sprint

    September 9, 2013

  • Valerie B.

    Sounds like fun!

    September 9, 2013

  • Keri S.

    For me, I think this is one of the main things that makes Agile so exciting and successful. It does seem magical once you hit that groove and are working together.

    September 9, 2013

  • Michael H.

    I think Test Driven Development may be part of the answer with QA helping to set the stage at the beginning and provide guidance throughout the Sprint. Also QA often has a better end user mentality that can provide value in the early going of feature design.

    September 9, 2013

  • Jane P.

    It's hard to get both QA and DEV working at the sustainable pace throughout the whole iteration. Typically, DEV starts out busy, while QA has little to do, but by the last quarter of the iteration DEV is standing by, while QA is in a crunch. What's the best way to organize work, short of making everyone do both DEV and QA equally?

    September 8, 2013

  • Jon C.

    Feels like magic sometimes, but mostly it's just hard work. We've got 4+ Scrum teams making it happen.

    September 8, 2013

  • Rayan C.

    Waiting for the magic!

    September 8, 2013

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