It is a common belief that increasing the amount of testing, hiring more testers or increasing the skill/experience of the existing testers will improve the quality of the software being produced. Testing professionals are held accountable as gate keepers of quality, often given the title “Quality Assurance”, which can imply that others are not responsible for quality. This term also gets used for testing activity rather than the testers themselves. “Have we done QA on that?”.
But the truth is, quality is not really about testing per se, or at least it is not determined by it. The whole testing paradigm is different in Agile because it removes the emphasis from checking and inspecting quality to designing and building in quality, including building the right thing for the customer in the first place, and this is something everyone needs to be involved in, not just testers. In an Agile ecosystem, quality is affected both positively and negatively by many factors in sales and marketing through to product and portfolio management, what the customer actually wants/needs, the mindset of the stakeholders involved, and beyond.
This talk will call out these factors, and explain how rejecting the “QA” concept and taking a fresh outlook on what “Agile testing” actually is can help improve the quality of what is being built. I hope this will enable testers and other folks in development teams to look upstream – and those outside the team to look downstream – at collaborative ways to increase the chances of building high quality software for our customers.