Overcoming Agile Testing Inertia with Mind Maps

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.

Imagine you need to run a race or obstacle course. Now imagine that you were told that every step you take requires that you come to a full and complete stop. While possibly highly entertaining to watch, it will be frustrating for the runner who knows they won’t be winning the race.

That’s what I see when teams transition to agile development and the QA/testers continue to follow the same testing processes and tools they used before joining the agile team. There are two general reasons we see this recurring failure-inducing anti-pattern:

  1. Management expects and demands that the testers continue to work the same way as before so that they can continue to get their reports on the quality of the system in development. [1]
  2. The testers don’t know any other way of doing things, so they do what they did before they joined an agile team.

In this article, I’ll contrast agile and traditional testing. And then, I’ll give an example of how a mind map can facilitate the testing process.

The Heart of Agile Testing
Change is difficult. It takes time to build trust in new approaches. It is all too common for companies to continue doing testing the same way even though the business and developers are changing everything about how they work.

In agile, …

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