I’m an Agile Test Manager: Do I really exist?


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  • I’m an Agile Test Manager: Do I really exist?

    1. 1. I’m an Agile Test Manager: Do I really exist? A discussion and debate David Evans & Ivan Ericsson SQS Group Limited Test Management Summit London, 30th January 2008
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Who are we? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we think? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think? </li></ul><ul><li>What have we concluded? </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Dave Ericsson </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a real person, but a moniker in SQS to refer to us together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We think frighteningly alike on most subjects in testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just as well, since we jointly hold the title of “Directors of Methodology” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As consultants we have both served roles that could be called “Agile Test Manager” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dave Evans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software developer and tester for 20 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agile convert for 5 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prefers the term ‘Coach’ or even ‘Evangelist’ over ‘Manager’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ivan Ericsson </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Involved in testing for 12 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Test Manager for 8, 1 year in agile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test Manager as shoeshine boy </li></ul></ul>Who are we? Dave Ericsson : not a real person
    4. 4. Who are you? <ul><li>You have heard of Agile Software Development </li></ul><ul><li>You have at least a reasonable sense of what it means </li></ul><ul><li>Your organisation has had projects that called themselves agile </li></ul><ul><li>Your organisation has completed projects that were really agile </li></ul><ul><li>You have been a Test Manager directly involved in an Agile team </li></ul>Raise your hand. Keep it raised if…
    5. 5. Recap of Common Agile Characteristics <ul><li>Iterative development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Running, tested features developed in order of business priority </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responsive to changing requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many opportunities to re- prioritise and re-evaluate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Travel light’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Favour conversations over documentation and formal process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Customer (Product Owner) is part of the team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowered customer rep either on-site or accessible to the team, provides constant feedback on quality and priorities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on delivering Business Value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything costs, so don’t do anything that doesn’t add value! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test-Driven </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High emphasis on testing early, testing often & testing fast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Restrospectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The team review and improve their own processes regularly </li></ul></ul>Most Agile methods have these features in common
    6. 6. The Agile Manifesto – What the Agile camp has declared it believes <ul><li>“ We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals and interactions over processes and tools </li></ul><ul><li>Working software over comprehensive documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Customer collaboration over contract negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to change over following a plan </li></ul><ul><li>That is, while there is value in the items on the right, </li></ul><ul><li>We value the items on the left more. ” </li></ul><ul><li>www.agilemanifesto.org </li></ul>Are you left-leaning or right-leaning? Please read all of it!
    7. 7. Canonical Agile (Scrum) Roles <ul><li>Customer (Product Owner) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The person responsible for defining Requirements (Product Backlog items) and prioritising items for each Iteration / Sprint. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coach (Scrum Master) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The person whose primary role is to remove impediments blocking the team </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Team of developers and testers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborating to produce running, tested features. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developers, testers and any specialists that may be needed (e.g. DBA, UI designer) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The team are all ‘pigs’, not ‘chickens’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Although testing is very high on the agenda of all good agile projects, you will be hard pressed to find the term “Test Manager” in any book about Agile. </li></ul>Hey, where’s the Test Manager?
    8. 8. Test Management <ul><li>Ensure independence of testing </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure corporate standards are complied with </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure the test effort remains state-of-the-art </li></ul><ul><li>QA of the test effort </li></ul><ul><li>Manage effectiveness of the test effort </li></ul><ul><li>Manage efficiency of the test effort </li></ul>This is what we do. Isn’t it?
    9. 9. Agile Test Management? <ul><li>Assumption: Ensure independence of testing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the business value of independence? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aren’t the testers and developers representing the customer? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is independence more valuable than shared goals, knowledge and communication? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could the automated tests be the independent evidence? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assumption: Ensure corporate standards are complied with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is compliance always more valuable than improvement and innovation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it more valuable than doing the right thing, right now? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Could we use standards as platforms rather than cages? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assumption: Ensure the test effort remains state-of-the-art </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How would we do this, other than by examining and improving our own process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does state-of-the-art testing deliver more business value? </li></ul></ul>Questioning those assumptions
    10. 10. Agile Test Management? <ul><li>Assumption: QA of the test effort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does this need a TM, or could the quality of the test effort be measured by the customer’s level of confidence in the test coverage and satisfaction with the product? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assumption: Manage effectiveness of the test effort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can the customer make the decision on what is good enough? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Isn’t the team collectively responsible for the effectiveness of testing? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assumption: Manage efficiency of the test effort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If features are estimated (for development and testing effort) and completed within short time-boxes, wont any inefficiencies be transparent? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As long as we achieve the appropriate quality levels within the team’s group estimates, does it matter how we get there? </li></ul></ul>Questioning those assumptions
    11. 11. Your Thoughts <ul><li>As a Test Manager, what value could you deliver to an Agile project? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is this enough to justify your salary? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How would you position your role in a ‘classic’ agile team? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Would the whole team be satisfied with this? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are the risks to a project of having no TM involvement? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there other ways to mitigate these risks? </li></ul></ul>Can we reconcile these positions?
    12. 12. Our Thoughts <ul><li>All the activities of Test Management have a valid role, somewhere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Test Manager needs to determine where and when </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand when to wear different ‘hats’ as manager, coach, test expert etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focussing relentlessly on business value might make us do a better job of management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let the team be self-organising: do less man-management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider how your responsibilities helps the team get better at delivering value </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Manage testers better by helping them do their job well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead by example: do what they do, at least some of the time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand their issues, observe their problems first-hand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be an amplifier of information about quality to all who care </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t hoard or ‘own’ this information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to ‘own’ Quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you do, no-one else will take responsibility for it </li></ul></ul>Some possible ways through…
    13. 13. Thanks! <ul><li>Any other questions or thoughts, feel free to contact us. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
    14. 14. SQS Group Limited 120 Moorgate London EC2M 6SS United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0) 2074 484620 Fax: +44 (0) 2074 484651 [email_address] [email_address] Internet: www.sqs-uk.com