HMH Agile Testing Lightning Talk with www.softtest.ie
Agile transformation – a journey…Brian BoyleDirector, Quality Assurance and ControlMay 2012
• Riverdeep acquired Houghton Mifflin (2006) and then Harcourt (2007)• One of the world’s largest providers of pre-Kindergarten–Grade 12 education solutions• We deliver interactive, results-driven education solutions to 60 million students in 120 countries• Publishing since 1832- novels, non-fiction, childrens books and reference works• Dublin – 250 employees: QA – ENG – BA – PM - Creative Design – Learning Design• QA – 30 employees in Dublin; ca. 200-300 offshore (India, Argentina, South Africa)
The Journey – why?Why do we need to changewhat we’re doing?What is the problem we are trying to fix?The Business’ Perception of the Dev TeamProblem statement…
SLOW:• 18 months to build a solution from POC to customer delivery
EXPENSIVE:• “Of course we can build that new feature. That will be $500K and 6 months please…”
OPERATE IN THE DARK:• Product owners/stakeholders get to see the product on the day of release!• That’s not what I ordered!
QUALITY:• The quality is not good. Too many known issues and customer reported issues• Testing activities continually get squeezed as the development dates slide• Our release dates DON’T slide – kids go back to school at the same time every year…
EXAMPLE – ‘Project TEXAS’ :• Waterfall (iterative)• 2 Year Project - $20M• Heavy BA docs (1000 pages)• Constantly changing requirements – Online only ‘09, mobile devices ’11..• 3 months between official builds to QA• Iteration 15 (June) – 10 builds• Iteration 16 (August) – 16 Builds
How do we fix this? •Agile/Scrum • It’s the ‘Silver Bullet!’
Challenges with Agile/Scrum Development at HMH:• Teams are not co- located• Leadership for QA/ENG/ BA/PM based in Dublin• Developers in Delhi• QA in Chennai• Product Mgmt in US
Communication:• Culture/Hierarchy –All scrum members expected to contribute, not just Leads• Getting the full picture?• Not all QA or ENG have IM or telephone• Time zones• Competing vendors
Quick wins - collaboration:• Deep collaboration between QA and ENG• Sharing QA Selenium Web Driver auto scripts/perf Loadrunner scripts with ENG• Early testing on Dev env• More robust builds• Early Prod Owner feedback• Flexibility to react to that feedback
Initial results:• 10 successful ‘mini- releases’ Q1 and Q2• Higher quality product• Internal teams bonding• Positive feedback from Product Mgmt; Sales; Teachers and Students…• For us, it’s all about the children…
Lessons learned:• The Journey continues• You must adapt Agile/Scrum to suit your business• Is Agile/Scrum the Silver Bullet?• NO! It’s a Brass Bullet..
Top Tip:• Communication is vital to make it work• You need to see the full picture before you can provide enough data to allow The Business to make an informed decision• The following video is a good example of where not having all the pertinent information leads to wrong decisions… Catchphrase - Say what you See!