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Agile testing for distributed teams and large orgs

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Some of the challenges and ideas for improving communication, testing practices that can help, and suggestions for adapting to the changes necessary to be successful in an agile world.

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Agile testing for distributed teams and large orgs

  1. 1. Janet Gregory, DragonFire Inc. Copyright 2014 SQDG – Calgary October 2014 With input from Lisa Crispin 1
  2. 2. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. Agile Testing - 2009 More Agile Testing Oct. 2014 www.agiletester.ca www.janetgregory.ca @janetgregoryca janet@agiletester.ca
  3. 3. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. Let’s learn a bit about your experiences -Different cities, same time zone (or 1 hr. apart) -Time zones more than 7 hrs difference -More than 3 remote teams -Less than 100 people -Larger than 1,000 employees -Larger than 5,000 -Others? 3
  4. 4. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. 4
  5. 5. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. What are some issues implementing agile large organizations or distributed teams?
  6. 6. •Cost savings •Mergers & acquisitions •Remote availability •Lack of expertise in-house 6
  7. 7. 7 •Able to hire the ‘right’ people ◦Independent of where they live •Leverage time zones to your advantage •More diversity
  8. 8. •Extra communication efforts •Time zone differences •Dependencies •Less productive 8
  9. 9. •Organizational controls •Working with third parties •Involving customers •Managing dependencies •ERP system integration 9
  10. 10. Distributed teams and large organizations mean cultural issues. Many teams just don’t take it into consideration. 10
  11. 11. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. Norms & values Language Infrastructure challenges History, habits Interactions 11
  12. 12. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. It’s relatively simple for a co-located team to adapt to agile, make the values’ their own, and follow the principles. 12
  13. 13. •Lack of trust •Lack of face time •Splitting work between teams •Collaboration / Communication 13
  14. 14. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. 14
  15. 15. Let’s talk about tools & practices for communication & collaboration 15
  16. 16. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Collaboration means ... ◦Working together to find solutions, etc. •Communication means ... sharing ◦Ideas, information, decisions, solutions, etc. ◦Understand the media ◦Know the audience 16
  17. 17. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Set up communication channels so all team members have access to ◦decisions made ◦planning sessions ◦meeting notes •Lowest common denominator for communication 17
  18. 18. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Email ◦Broadcast, individual, follow-up on conversations •Photos – task boards, smart boards •Videos Remember ..... •Emails do not show emotions and can be misinterpreted 18
  19. 19. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Telephone •Chat rooms •Wiki •Collaborative automation tools •Mind-mapping tools •Remote pairing: VPN, Skype, instant messaging, desktop sharing 19
  20. 20. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Use video whenever possible ◦Skype, Google phone, teleconferencing •Put faces on stories and tasks ◦Physical task boards ◦On-line systems ◦Use avatars •Virtual tele-presence 20
  21. 21. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. 21
  22. 22. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. 22
  23. 23. •Tests provide feedback •Tests show desired behaviour •Developers think about testability •Testers think about the big picture •Multiple skill sets mean better solution 23
  24. 24. •Keep the feedback cycle short •Remove dependencies early 24 Note: Feature teams are preferable with all team members co-located
  25. 25. 25 Picture by Augusta Evangelisti, based on diagram from Elisabeth Hendrickson
  26. 26. 26 Think in Levels of Detail
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. 28
  29. 29. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc.
  30. 30. •Power of 3 •Pairing •Question •Draw pictures •Repeat verbal conversations in writing 30
  31. 31. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Continuous integration •Integrate testing and coding •Use common tools ◦Version control ◦Test frameworks ◦Defect tracking 31 Consider operations / maintenance teams for support of tests, code
  32. 32. •Share information •Share awareness of dependencies •Keep everyone “in the loop” •Same vision •Same goal 32
  33. 33. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. 33
  34. 34. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Common orientation •Off –shore teams •Acquired teams •New remote team members •Foster a learning culture ◦Tolerate mistakes ◦Personal safety •Give time to experiment, to try 34
  35. 35. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Command and control •Think – how to give confidence? •Provide transparency •Provide the right support ◦For self-organizing teams ◦Extra positions for liaison 35
  36. 36. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Schedules ◦Overlapping times ◦Meetings ◦Share the pain •Use retrospectives ◦Identify problem areas ◦Experiment with solutions 36
  37. 37. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Think constantly of other teams or team members •Extend help to others •Between management and development 37
  38. 38. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. 38
  39. 39. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Whole team •Small chunks of work •Use your diverse skills •Respect culture: yours and others •Give teams time to experiment, learn •Maintain discipline •Avoid silos – geographical or functional 39
  40. 40. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. Collaborate to innovate or Innovate to collaborate Use retrospectives to improve!! 40
  41. 41. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team By Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin www.agiletester.ca Contact info www.janetgregory.ca Email: janet@agiletester.ca Twitter: janetgregoryca 41
  42. 42. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, Addison-Wesley, 2010 •Agile Software Development in the Large: Diving into the Deep, Jutta Eckstein, Dorset House, 2004 •Fearless Change: Patterns for introducing new ideas, Linda Rising and Mary Lynn Manns •Agile-testing@yahoogroups.com •Pictures taken on safari in Kenya and Tanzania with Nature Encounters Tours, 42
  43. 43. Copyright 2014 DragonFire Inc. •www.lisacrispin.com •Rothman Consulting Group, Inc. Vol 9, #5: Building Trust in any Team •http://leadingsoftwaretestinginanagileworld.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/distributed-agile-test-teams-making-it.html 43

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