Stumped by 3rd party testing
2015-04-03 10:25:01 GMT
I was asked a question yesterday and I’m stuck for an approach.
It’s not related to my workplace, we have teams with good mix of development, testing and design skills, but I was asked this by an ex co-worker who is looking to improve current work practices in his new place.
They are looking at scrum as an option.
So my first question was to ask what is the problem they are trying to solve and then we could see what suits. I saw this as a coaching opportunity and a valuable learning experience for me, even if it’s just a conversation over a few pints.
So I started to dig deeper. Most of the questions revolved around scrum, user stories, acceptance criteria, definition of done, and the need to improve time to market. Ok so far.
Then we came to team structure. Through discussion it was mentioned that they have a 3rd party test team that they pass everything over to towards the end of an iteration and then they fix the issues in the next iteration.
Smelly alarm bells and lots of spinning cogs.
So some points I’d need to consider are to see if it’s about throwing code over the wall, getting them to look at the perceived reduced cost, and asking how this 3rd party actually works. How do they communicate what stories they are working on, how do they test, how are things reported back?
Then thinking about this a bit more, the only way I can see this working is if the 3rd party can provide an agile testing service and be actively involved in that iteration; be it planning, any daily stand-ups, looking at remote pairing, and generally being in the loop. Now that could be done via skype, hangouts or webex/join.me. Looking at developing joint ownership would be key.
I don’t see scrum working for them otherwise, unless anyone has any experience? If not, there are some practices that might help them improve such as TDD, CI, and looking at their refactoring approach if it exists.
I’m just seeing lots of mini-waterfalls/shorter iterations.
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