Project Management

Agility and Quality Start with No Manual Test Cases

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.

When I start coaching an agile development team, there are two anti-success patterns that I look for right away:

  1. Too many testers on the team
  2. Testers writing test cases to manually check quality at a later date

These traditional views of testing will break your agile journey, and there are powerful alternatives that you should be encouraging instead. Here is the manager’s guide to kicking off your agile development team on the right foot.

What is testing?
This might seem like a silly question, but you will be amazed at the range of answers you get. Before we can appreciate the role of good agile testers on a team and how we expect them to provide value, we need to align on how we achieve success.

Testing is not about finding bugs. It is a mechanism for rapidly aligning stakeholders and development team members with the desired customer experience. We call this alignment “quality,” and it is a fluid concept that shifts with time and each person’s needs.

The trick here is in understanding who your customers are, and clarifying their expectations. I have written before on how to identify your internal and external stakeholders, and some ways you might manage their expectations and needs throughout your development program. Testers are ideal people to track these stakeholders and their expectations, so they can provide you with …

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"In opera, there is always too much singing."

- Claude Debussy