Smoothing Your Transition to Agile QA

QASource QASource | July 22, 2015


Agile QA methodology was developed to help engineers meet deadlines, reduce documentation time, and reduce release cycle time. It enables QA engineers to deliver high business value in the shortest time possible, effectively resolving these issues. But with a new approach comes a new set of challenges. As you transition to the Agile method, your QA team will have to assimilate an entirely new work culture and adapt to a new set of tools.

After years of experience with Agile methodology, we have developed a list of best practices that will help your team overcome each challenge they will face during the transition:

  1. Train on Agile terminologies and process. Though this may seem like common sense, many teams are thrown into Agile environments without a proper introduction. Provide training to your engineers to highlight how Agile is different from your current model. Explain specific terminologies and their meaning in the context of Agile, such as scrum, sprint, tasks, scrum master, story points, etc. Familiarize engineers with the roles and responsibilities that are associated with each member of the Agile team.
  2. Standardize documentation templates. Consistency is key in Agile environments. Create standard templates that your team can use to document processes, which will allow them to provide precise, detailed information. Some examples of your documentation might include requirement specifications, effort estimates, development plans, or testing plans.
  3. Train on Agile tool usage. Your team should have thorough knowledge of the tools used to track progress. They should know how to create a story and associated tasks, how to handle time and tasks, and how to mark sprints and tasks as complete.
  4. Build a multi-skilled team. The ideal Agile team possesses the skills to build and deliver solutions. As you manage your team, make assessments: what skills are required for this project? What skills are missing? A solid team is made up of ambitious, success-oriented engineers with complementary skill sets. Learn more about the key characteristics of a successful offshore QA team.
  5. Improve communication. A connected, informed team is the key to Agile success. Ensure that your engineers utilize email, phone conversations, instant messaging, and daily standup meetings to discuss any issue, whether big or small, that may arise.
  6. Prioritize and categorize tasks. Each assigned task should be prioritized according to its importance and volume. Similar tasks should also be grouped together for clarity and improved productivity.
  7. Collect and share retrospective notes. During sprint closure meetings, gather retrospective notes from your team. These notes should convey what worked well, what didn't work well, and steps to take for improvement. When applied, these notes will improve the quality of your process, the team, and the finished product.

The Agile method can be a complete game-changer in terms of productivity, but it means a shift in team culture. Using these tips, you can adjust to that shift easily and make a smooth transition into streamlined, successful QA.

Leave a comment below and let us know how Agile has improved your team culture! Also, don't forget to follow QASource on Facebook and LinkedIn for more premium content.

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This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.