Guest Blog: Do you have an agile testing mindset?

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The following is a guest post to Zephyr from Venkatesh Krishnamurthy. You can read more of his writing at his blog

Performing Testing in Agile projects is not termed as Agile testing. Agile testing involves whole different mindset.  Then, how do you know your team has Agile testing mindset?  As a coach, I start this by asking testers the following few questions:

- Do have to wait until the development is done to start testing?

- Do testers feel there is a lack of time at the end of Sprint?

- Are testers blamed when defects are identified?

If testers answer “Yes” to some or all the questions above, then the team still has “Waterfall” mindset in guise of Agile. 

Another litmus test to try is to check the team’s wall which is popularly called “Kanban” wall. If you see a wall like the one below, where the “Test” ing is a separate column, then this is a smell.

Test, Todo and Done inforgraphic

The real  Agile teams don’t consider testing as a “Phase” but an “activity.”  As soon as one considers testing as a phase, then testers are implicitly made to wait until the development is complete.

Whether you consider testing as a phase or an activity, testing is still done in the end. However, calling it an “activity” makes a lot of difference. Activity is something that can be done at any time.  By changing the vocabulary, Agile testers could ask new questions:

  • Why can’t I do testing before the development?
  • How can I do testing before the development?
  • Is there a way that I can still test while development is happening?
  • How do I ensure that we have sufficient time for testing?

If you succeed in getting answers to the above questions, then you are on the right path to becoming an Agile tester. If you are still struggling and wondering such things are not possible, then it’s time to change the mindset!

About Venkatesh Krishnamurthy - Venkatesh Krishnamurthy is a delivery coach in a large insurance company in Melbourne, Australia. After completing his bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering, Mr.Krishnamurthy has spent the last 15 years working for major industries such as telecom, finance, healthcare and automative. Mr.Krishnamurthy's innate interests in Cognitive science lead him to easily gain mastery in the Agile methods and processes such as Scrum, XP, lean and Six Sigma.