Scrum is a method of project management that works seamlessly in an agile environment. Scrum can be used for nearly any project, but is most commonly used in software development. In the world of agile scrum, cross-departmental teams are formed to see the project from start to finish. These teams, called scrum teams, often include anywhere from 5 – 10 people and are made up of developers, business analysts, UI designers, product managers, and software testers. It is the job of the scrum team to make sure that the requirements that are set during the sprint planning meeting are met by the end of the development cycle. While each scrum team has a designated ScrumMaster that acts as a coach, the scrum team must be self-organizing and autonomous in order for the tasks in each dev cycle to be completed in a timely manner.
While scrum is designed to bring in members of different departments to help bring the product to completion, the need for testers outside of the development team is often overlooked. It’s never a good idea to have one person building and testing the same product – there is no such thing as an unbiased developer. Testers must first and foremost be advocates for the end user, which is a nearly impossible task for the developer that built the product. This is why quality assurance and testing professionals play such important roles on scrum teams in today’s agile environments. Having a developer do the testing is tempting because they know already know the product and can quickly test, track, and report any bugs they find. Utilizing your developers to do your product testing can also appear to be a good idea because it seems as if you’re saving on labor costs – but this is only true in the short term. A poorly tested product in the hands of end users will ultimately costs your business much more that doing testing right the first time.
Despite the strong arguments for having dedicated testers on your scrum team, many companies still overlook this important element of quality software development. The fact of the matter is, testing and reporting can be tedious and time-consuming if you don’t have the right tools to help simplify the process. qTest eXplorer was designed with this very issue in mind. qTest eXplorer tracks user’s interactions with an application and uses that information to automatically create a detailed defect document. With eXplorer, anyone on the scrum team – from a product manager to a business analyst – can test and document any application with ease, giving full transparency to the entire team and providing a way for real end user advocacy.
How does testing operate in your scrum team? I’d love to hear your perspective in the comments below!
Ryan Yackel is a Senior Product Specialist for QASymphony, striving to ensure the continued success of existing and prospective members of the qTest community. As a former barista, his love of specialty coffee knows no bounds. feel free to drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org