Four Elephants in the Agile Testing Room

Paul Carvalho is dedicated to helping development teams deliver high levels of quality with confidence. He inspires collaborative, agile, test-infected teams with a holistic approach to quality. Paul launched the company, Quality Driven Inc, to bring his quality development experience and knowledge to individuals and organizations through consulting, training, coaching, writing and speaking internationally. Paul is passionate about understanding human ecosystems for delivering great products that satisfy and delight customers, which he finds to be a natural fit with the agile community. Connect with him through Quality-Driven.com and say hello on Twitter @can_test.

Monsters under the bed? We’re adults now, so we aren’t afraid to talk about imaginary things that might frighten us. Or are we? Well, some topics in agile testing may point to dysfunctional organizational practices that are often taboo, off limits or avoided in regular conversations. In this article, I will identify four such topics that need to be discussed and addressed for agile success.

When people ask me for advice on agile testing, they are sometimes surprised when I step back and start with clarifying questions about their general development practices. For me, the topic of agile testing is indistinguishable from good agile engineering practices, so I first need to know a little more about which agile practices teams are doing.

Questions about agile testing often come from Scrum practitioners, and I believe there’s a good reason for it. People seem to be ignoring the obvious question: Does your Scrum practice look a lot like your traditional/waterfall practice, just with different names/labels?

I was always a fan of the phrase “elephant in the room,” the idea that there is something—some truth or idea—that everyone is aware of and everyone is avoiding discussing, kind of like an adult version of monsters under the bed. As a coach …

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