Output of the Agile Approach Agile Testing

The Scrum approach was remarkably successful:each user story was thoroughly system-tested as soon as development finished. As a result, the first code release made it through cross-supplier integration testing, user acceptance testing(UAT), and into live with zero code defects. (There were a few configuration problems in each environment, but the code itself was faultless). Future releases also had a low code defect count.

A further success was that the Scrum team worked “sensible” hours, by and large. This was a result of the Scrum estimation process and the calculation of sprint velocity, which allowed us to set expectations with the customer about what was deliverable in any given sprint. Indeed, the customer was often able to work this out for themselves. That the development cycle ran so smoothly is, I believe, for the following reasons:

  • The customer was 100% behind Scrum. Indeed the decision to use Scrum was taken by the customer, who then requested that we use it. The developers and testers were also open-minded–indeed excited–about trying out Scrum for the first time.
  • We had a right-sized test team. To compliment our five developers, we had two testers (plus a test manager). This allowed the user stories developed in each sprint to be fully system tested before the sprint was complete.
  • Testers and developers enjoyed good relations, fostered through the collegiate spirit that arises from co-location and augmented by social activities(including pub lunches and frequent games of table tennis)!.
  • The daily stand-ups proved their worth. Initial skepticism about the value of these meetings quickly gave way to a firm belief in their benefit, after early identification of issues saved a lot of time for both testers and developers. Note that we did not run integration testing and UAT as sprints– we found it was much easier to run these in “classical” fashion. Where fixes were required, those that were nonurgent were added into the current sprint(time was set aside for this), then deployed to integration/UAT with the rest of that sprint’s code. Where the fix was urgent, we would branch the code and patch the fix straight in.

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