Deploy Faster by Getting Rid of End-of-Development Testing

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 and say hello on Twitter @can_test.

Topics: Agile, Quality, Scrum, Testing/Test Management

Testing at the end of a development cycle is a common practice in traditional approaches. Unfortunately, it becomes an obstacle on your path to agility, slowing down your ability to deploy to production faster. Let’s take a look at what goes on in this testing phase, some potential causes and ideas for getting unstuck.

Development Approaches and Engineering Practices
For starters, waste (in Lean manufacturing terms) can occur because you are still doing waterfall-style development—or as agile coaches call it, “Water-Scrum-fall.” Figure 1 below shows how some companies implement Scrum, moving from model A to B. Notice how there is still a testing phase at the end followed by an often-stressful deployment event to production.

The leap to (C) agile development requires adoption of technical engineering practices, such as those described in extreme programming (XP), test driven development (TDD), pairing, continuous integration and so on. Also notice how deployment to production is no longer a major event in C. That’s because it is a frequent, routine part of daily development life.

One important piece that is often left out of a lot of these engineering references is: How do we get rid of that testing phase at the end of the development cycle so that we can deploy faster? That is, the part marked with “?” in Figure 1.

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