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A Tester’s Guide to Collaborating with Product Owners


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The role of the Product Owner in Scrum is only vaguely defined—owning the Product Backlog and representing the “customer.” In many organizations, Product Owners go it alone, trying their best to represent business needs to their teams. What’s often missing is a collaborative connection between the teams’ testers and the Product Owner—a connection in which testers help to define and refine requirements, broaden the testing landscape and align it to customer needs, provide a conduit for collaboration between the customer and the team, assure that the team is building the right thing, and help demonstrate complete features. This relationship is central to the team and facilitates transparency to help gain feedback from the entire organization. Join seasoned agile coach Bob Galen as he shares techniques for doing just this. Return with new ideas and techniques for helping your Product Owner and team deliver better received and higher value products—not just by testing but by fostering collaboration.

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A Tester’s Guide to Collaborating with Product Owners

  1. 1.       rent Session    Presented by:  Bob Galen  Vel rs      Brought to you by:      340 Corporate Way, Suite   Orange Park, FL 32073  888‐2 T7  Concur 4/8/2014    12:45 PM          “A Tester’s Guide to Collaborating   with Product Owners”      ocity Partne             300, 68‐8770 ∙ 904‐278‐0524 ∙ ∙ 
  2. 2. Bob Galen Velocity Partners   An agile methodologist, practitioner, and coach based in Cary, NC, Bob Galen helps guide companies in their adoption of Scrum and other agile methodologies and practices. Bob is a principal agile evangelist at Velocity Partners, a leading agile nearshore development partner; president of RGCG; and frequent speaker on software development, project management, software testing, and team leadership at conferences and professional groups. He is a Certified Scrum Coach, Certified Scrum Product Owner, and an active member of the Agile and Scrum Alliances. In 2013 Bob published Scrum Product Ownership–Balancing Value from the Inside Out. Reach him at  
  3. 3. 1 A Tester’s Guide to Collaborating with Product Ownerswith Product Owners 10 Keys to Delivering Value Bob Galen President & Principal Consultant RGCG, LLC Introduction Bob Galen Independent Agile Coach (CSC) at RGCG, LLC Principle Agile Evangelist at Velocity Partnersp g g y Somewhere ‘north’ of 30 years overall experience ☺ Wide variety of technical stacks and business domains Developer first, then Project Management / Leadership, then Testing Senior/Executive software development leadership for 20 years Practicing formal agility since 2000 XP, Lean, Scrum, and Kanban experience From Cary, North Carolina Connect w/ me via LinkedIn and Twitter @bobgalen Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 2 Connect w/ me via LinkedIn and Twitter @bobgalen Bias Disclaimer: Agile is THE BEST Methodology for Software Development… However, NOT a Silver Bullet!
  4. 4. 2 Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 3 Outline – Myths & Realities Introduction 1 Bridge stories1. Bridge stories 2. Help write Acceptance Tests 3. DoD accountability 4. Be the customer 5. Ask questions 6. Triad everywhere 7. Cost of quality 8 C t f t ti Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 4 8. Cost of testing 9. Backlog as a “plan” 10. Take the PO to lunch
  5. 5. 3 Simple pattern: The Product Owner ‘Owns’ the Product Backlog Who owns the Backlog? Backlog Essential pattern It Takes a Village to ‘Own’ the Backlog 5Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 5 4 Quadrants of Product Ownership 1. Product Manager Product Roadmap 3. Leader Trade-offs product balanceProduct Roadmap, Collateral, Business Case / ROI Driving customer value 2. Project Manager Product Backlog (WBS) Trade offs, product balance Stakeholder “management” Member of the team; partner with the Scrum Master 4. Business Analystg ( ) Grooming & look-ahead Velocity-based, Release Planning Goal setting, Budget 4. Business Analyst Story writing Acceptance Emergence; Spikes Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 6
  6. 6. 4 #1, Bridge stories from Team to the Product Owner The key here is guidingThe key here is guiding the translation and execution of the user story Pull the Product Owner into the sprint Show incremental code Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 7 Shepherd sign-off 3 Amigos-based interactions Nail the Demo #1, Bridge stories from Team to the Product Owner Coined by George Dinwiddie Swarming around the User Story by: Developer(s) Tester(s) Product Owner Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 8 During “Grooming, Sprint Execution, Until…”Done” Similar to Ken Pugh’s - Triad
  7. 7. 5 #2, Help write solid Acceptance Tests Consider themConsider them as “mini-contracts” or “mini- UAT” 3-5 minimal per story Business constraints Functional and non- functional Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 9 functional Edge and error cases Provide hints: Design & Test #2, Help write solid Acceptance Tests As a dog owner, I want to sign-upg g p for a kennel reservation over Christmas so that I get a confirmed spot Verify individual as a registered pet owner Verify that preferred members get 15% discount on basic service Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 10 Verify that preferred members get 25% discount on extended services and reservation priority over other members Verify that past Christmas customers get reservation priority Verify that declines get email with discount coupon for future services Verify that sign-up process takes less than 4 minutes
  8. 8. 6 #3, Hold everyone “accountable” to Definition of Done It all starts in GroomingIt all starts in Grooming, thinking of the work cross-functionally and with DoD in mind Continue it in Sprint Planning Execute consistently; no Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 11 Execute consistently; no exceptions Deliver to “Done” Ready-Ready Prevents teams from taking on The story is well-written; and has a minimum of 5 Acceptance Tests defined The story has been sized to fit the teams velocity & sprint length: 1-13 points taking on stories that are ill groomed or defined The team has vetted the story in several grooming sessions—it’s scope & nature is well understood If required, the story had a research-spike to explore (and refine) it’s architecture and design implications The story is not “too complete”, around ~70% complete The team understands how to approach the testing of the stories’ functional and non-functional aspects Any dependencies to other stories and/or teams have been “connected” so that the story is synchronized and Increases sprint success been connected so that the story is synchronized and deliverable The story aligns with the Sprints’ Goal and is end-to-end demonstrable If a “Technical Story” the story has a “Technical PO” to provide guidance and sign-off Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 12
  9. 9. 7 #4, Represent the Customer Don’t solveDon t solve “requirements”…solve “customer problems” Consider usage KISS Deliver value; highest i t & i it Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 13 impact & priority End-to-end solutions #4, Represent the Customer The power of a MinimalThe power of a Minimal Marketable Feature The power of the Persona Observe the Customer Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 14 Nordstrom Innovation Lap: watch?v=szr0ezLyQHY
  10. 10. 8 #5, Ask questions? Be inquisitive? Ask questionsAsk questions Relentlessly, Constantly, Courageously 5 – Whys Business value? Lean investment Just enough and just in Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 15 Just enough and just-in- time Trust your instincts, craft Does it make sense? #5, Ask questions? Be inquisitive? Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 16
  11. 11. 9 #7, What about the Cost of Quality? Meta-requirementsMeta requirements Security, Performance, Maintainability Automation investments Agile Automation Triangle Inspections – pairing DoD maturity Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 17 DoD maturity Avoid rework? Yes for product, no for experiments Quality is a TEAM responsibility! A Tapestry that Includes Threads for… Things to do… Deployment Regulatory Features Value increments Architecture Design Process Quality g y Dependency Risk Feedback Customer timing Tempo Quality Testing In a Context-Based fashion… …Guiding us towards customer value Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 1818
  12. 12. 10 #8, What about the Cost of Testing? Risk-basedRisk based Always test what’s available Don’t track coverage or time Slack time for thinking & ti it Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 19 creativity Balanced across the quadrants 3 Pillars of Agile Quality Development & Test Automation • Pyramid-based Strategy: (Unit + Cucumber + Software Testing • Risk-based testing: Functional & Non-Functional Cross-Functional Team Practices • Team-based Pairing Selenium) • Continuous Integration • Attack technical infrastructure in the Backlog • Visual Feedback – Dashboards • Actively practice ATDD and BDD • Test planning @ Release & Sprint levels • Exploratory Testing • Standards – checklists, templates, repositories • Balance across manual, exploratory & automation • Stop-the-Line Mindset • Code Reviews & Standards • Active Done-Ness • Aggressive Refactoring of Technical Debt • User Stories, “3 Amigo” based Conversations Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 20 • Whole Team Ownership of “Quality” • Building it ‘Right’; Building the ‘Right’ Thing • Healthy – Agile Centric Metrics • Center of Excellence or Community of Practice • Strategic balance across 3 Pillars; Assessment, Recalibration, and Continuous Improvement
  13. 13. 11 #9, The Backlog is a “Plan” help focus it towards Release! Ask for and define aAsk for and define a Release Train Encourage Release Planning Establish “hardening” activities I t ti il t Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 21 Integration milestones – working code Release Train Management Iterative model with a release targetg Product centric Focused on a production push/release Synchronized Sprints across teams Some teams are un- synchronized, but leads to less efficient cross-team (product) Notion of a “Hardening Sprint” Focused more on Integration & Regression testing Assumption that it’s mostly automated Environment promotion Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC (p ) interactions Continuous Integration is the glue Including automated unit and feature tests; partial regression Define a final Hardening Sprint where the product is readied for release Documentation, Support, Compliance, UAT, Training 22
  14. 14. 12 3 Tiered, Multi Method (Kanban & Scrum) Enterprise Workflow Inception Construction TransitionElaboration EpicEpic Epic Kanban @ Portfolio-level Arch & Design Build & Test Cont. DeployAnalysis Feature Feature EpicEpic Feature Feature Feature Feature Feature Kanban @ Project-level Product Backlog Story Task Task Task Task TaskTaskTask Sprint Backlog WIP Done Story Story Story Story Story Story Scrum @ Execution- level 23Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC #10, Get to know your Product Owner Have lunchHave lunch Discuss the competitive landscape, the Market Customer challenges MoSCoW in operation Commitments & Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 24 Pressure Vision & Mission; what does “success” look like?
  15. 15. 13 Wrapping up… Helping the Product Owner to build the “Right Thing” And Helping the Team to build “Things Right” Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 25 Contact Info Bob Galen Principal Consultant, RGalen Consulting Group, L.L.C. Experience-driven agile focused training, coaching & consulting Cell: (919) 272-0719 BlogsBlogs Project Times - BA Times - Podcast on all things ‘agile’ - 26Copyright © 2014 RGCG, LLC 26