Why attending the daily stand-up helps agile testers keep in sync with the team
Posted by Matt Archer on April 2, 2013
|This post is part of the tips for manual testers working in an agile environment series. A series of posts inspired by the topics covered in the Techniques for Agile Manual Testers course that is currently available to take in London (via the Ministry of Testing) and in Copenhagen (via PrettyGoodTesting).
Few things are more confusing for a project sponsor than a team that is evidently busy but failing to deliver high quality software at regular intervals. To the casual observer, the behaviour is paradoxical. If everyone is busy, how can the team’s delivery rate be so slow?
In such a situation I would recommend that the team reviews their cohesion. Is everyone driving towards the same short-term goals or are people working on activities that are at best required for a future sprint or worse, activities that are unknowingly not required at all?
From a testing perspective, this type of redundancy can come in many forms. A common example is the preparation of tests that are never executed because the target of those tests is significantly changed or placed out of scope without the tester’s knowledge.
As our understanding of other people’s work improves, the more cohesive (and less wasteful) we tend to become. It is for this reason that I advise testers to always attend their team’s daily stand-up.
Daily stand-ups also present opportunities to invite people to collaborate. Whilst strictly not part of the standard three-question agenda, I see little harm in a tester augmenting their update with an invitation to pair or an offer to review another’s work. I encourage this practice because it is these collaborative activities (not just meeting once a day) that make a team truly cohesive and strengthen their chance of delivering high quality software on a regular basis.
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