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Agile Test Transformation

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This presentation was part of my session in "Agile in Business" seminar in Chennai on July 27th, 2013, organized by Unicom. This addresses the different aspects to be considered when a test team is …

This presentation was part of my session in "Agile in Business" seminar in Chennai on July 27th, 2013, organized by Unicom. This addresses the different aspects to be considered when a test team is transformed in an Agile set-up performing Agile Testing.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. Steering Test organization towards Agile delivery S R V Subrahmaniam, Siemens Ltd. Chennai Agile In Business Conference (c) 1
  • 2. Where are Agile practices most effective Niche Generic Simple / Homegenous Complex / Heterogenous Domain Technical complexity 2Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 3. Complex projects need mature teams High Low Low High Professionalmaturity Technical competency Collaboration Problem solving Risk identification Anticipation and forecasting Dynamic Coherent group behaviour Interpersonal skills 3Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 4. A typical transition to Agile • Unified team approach • Team has one common objective • Light weight process • Focus on finding critical bugs upfront • Enhanced focus on • Tooling • Automation • Multi-skilled staff Agile • Phased or Gated approach (in a sequential mode) towards delivery • Each of these phases – in itself has a very elaborate process and documents • Different teams operate in different phases and contribute towards the end product • Each of these different teams have different objectives – ostensibily synchronized • Any change request required to the software will have to navigate a long process • Critical bugs often surface late in the development cycle and hence often delays release dates Waterfall 70% of Agile Scrum Projects transition from Waterfall Source: The State of Scrum: Benchmarks and Guidelines, 2013, ScrumAlliance 4Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 5. Test organization as an independent horizontal practice • Takes an independent view on the state and quality of the product • Protecting it from bias and influence of the development teams • Testing as a seperate horizontal practice needs specialized competency development and career progression Why this? Other side • Testing team‘s goals and targets are often, not synchronized towards the overall project goals • Working as distinct teams, avenues for collaboration with other units like development, product management, documentation are limited 5Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 6. Our journey To transition a horizontal testing practice towards Agile delivery. Agile In Business Conference (c) Product 1 Product 2 Product 3 Development + Functional test System, Load & Performance test Product Management 6
  • 7. Moving towards an Agile oriented culture Agile Culture Attention to detail Growth orientation Outcome Orientation People Orientation Team Orientation Innovation and risk taking 7Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 8. Moving towards team culture TeamsWorkgroups Goal Share Information Collective performance Synergy Neutral (sometimes negative) Positive Accountability Individual Individual and mutual Skills Random and varied Complementary 8Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 9. What this means for testers? Re-alignment of focus Testers objective is enable timely release of quality software. They find and verify bugs as part of this objective Test early Sensitise developers towards planned tests Focus on buggy or critical areas Automate alongside during Sprints Reduce # of open defects Collaborate with developers (reproducing defects, bug verification etc.) 9Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 10. Co-location of test team members Agile In Business Conference (c) Developers, testers and product management teams sit in the same area. More face-to-face communication and less reliance on emails. Quick resolution of queries and open issues. 10
  • 11. These tests will be in parallel to Sprints and defects will be fed into Product Backlog Testing activities within Sprint Sprint Test activities during Sprints - User Story testing - Sanity tests User stories - End-to-end scenarios - Load and Performance tests - Non Functional tests - Negative tests - Exploratory tests Test activities outside of Sprints 11Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 12. Test Organization Within Scrum teams - Testers part of the Scrum teams - Operationally reporting to Scrum Master; Officially reporting to Test Manager - Apprisal, Competency development taken care by Test Manager - Testers need to be good in inter-personal skills - Testers need to be aware of white box techniques, interpretation of logs, configuring and setting up parameters etc., System test team - Testers do not belong to Scrum teams - Testers report to Test Manager - Work on testing the software at System level and for non-functional requirements - Diversity in terms of technical skills is key. Each tester has to be a stand-alone expert in a chosen technical area as the breadth of testing would typically involve multiple areas 12Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 13. Critical success factors Management focus for moving towards Agile1 Visibility of the project status and key metrics for all stakeholders2 A possible dip in productivity initially and a rebound afterwards3 Facilitating the transition with suitable trainings and coaching4 Transition with new processes and tools in tandem5 Office layout to reflect the new work culture6 13Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 14. Incentivise expected behaviour Agile In Business Conference (c) Innovative thinking Identification of potential issues / risks Free and open exchange of views Problem resolution by concerned parties Continuous improvement 14
  • 15. Reworking performance evaluation criteria Joint Responsibility Task accomplishment Technical expertise Mix of group performance and individual performance Innovation orientation 15Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 16. Road-map for organizational change Agile In Business Conference (c) Kick Off 1 Agile Training Co-location Start with Scrum practices Team workshops Establish 2 Refine the practices Address pain points Review productivity Stabilize 3 Stable teams Set rhythm for releases and sprints Improvise 4 Continous improvement Experimenting with newer ideas and tools Transition Timelines 16
  • 17. Re-skilling and competency building - Automation has to go hand in hand during the Sprints. - Automation engineers need to think beyond standard tools and look for custom built test automation suites working in tandem with standard tools Building self-organized teams Test Automation Tooling Problem solving Inter-personal skills - Identify areas where tools can be applied - Evaluation of new tools for data capture and analysis - Project planning and scheduling - Problem identification and evaluation of alternatives - Work scoping, constraint and risk management - Communication and Presentation skills - Team work - Negotiation skills Training areas Building technical Competence 17Agile In Business Conference (c)
  • 18. Monitoring the transition - Indicators Agile In Business Conference (c) The Contra indicators The positives • Key end-to-end and Non Functional requirements are tested early • Defects in Discussion / Clarification / Dispute mode are reduced • Developers (along with testers) doing informal testing in the test environment • Testers supply all the details need for developers for bug fixing: Logs, environment, data snapshot etc., • Team members develop cross-functional capabilities • Continous improvement in ways of working, technologies and tooling + • Conflict within teams • No perpectible improvement in team productivity or work output • Social loafing: Individuals masking their non-performance under a superior team performance • Increase in escape defects - Testers getting influenced by development team‘s thinking (?) - 18
  • 19. Insights from Organizational theory 19Agile In Business Conference (c) Standardization and formalization Stable environment Low integration of functional areas Low task differentiation Centralized decision-making Low Standardization and formalization Dynamic and uncertain environment High integration of functional areas High differentiation of tasks Decentralized decision-making Mechanistic Versus Organic Organizational Culture
  • 20. Mechanistic and Organic cultures 20Agile In Business Conference (c) Mechanistic Culture Efficiency and predictability are emphasized through specialization, sta ndardization, and formalization Organic Culture Finding appropriate, effec tive, and timely responses to environmental challenges is of critical importance.
  • 21. The Last word.. from Scrumalliance Agile In Business Conference (c) Source: The State of Scrum: Benchmarks and Guidelines, Scrumalliance 21
  • 22. Last word…2 22Agile In Business Conference (c) http://www.versionone.com/pdf/7th-Annual-State-of-Agile-Development-Survey.pdf
  • 23. S R V Subrahmaniam / srv.subbu@yahoo.in Agile In Business Conference (c) 23