Testing roles in the Agile world are not new. Still, assuming cross-functional teams don’t exist, which is possible in given scenarios, test engineers have to do many tasks and play different roles at different times.

This is my list of ideas and practical cases that I have found useful for the QA member to consider:

  1. Understand that “a fool with a tool is still a fool.”

  2. Prevent (QA) defects rather than try to them (QC).

  3. A mindset change is required for Agile testing.

  4. Understand the Agile Manifesto.

  5. Understand the Agile Testing Manifesto.

  6. Understand the Agile Testing Pyramid (Mike Cohn’s Testing Pyramid).

  7. Break the Manual Testing Paradigm.

  8. Understand the Agile Testing Quadrants.

  9. Look for opportunities to push more and more automation tests toward the bottom of the Agile Test Pyramid.

  10. Move from manual testing to automated testing.

  11. Understand the big picture.

  12. Learn to read code that has been developed by developers.

  13. Learn to collaborate more with the BA, developers, UI/UX, the PO, and end users to understand the real needs.

  14. In sprint planning meetings, discuss all possible test scenarios for the user story.

  15. Look for NFRs (nonfunctional requirements, aka “-ility” test scenarios).

  16. Actively formulate the DOD for the testing.

  17. Identify high-level risks and test strategies.

  18. Log defects, if really required, in the defect management tool; collaborate more with developers to fix defects.

  19. Use more and more exploratory testing.

  20. Don’t hesitate to test the functionalities on development environments to ensure that quality code comes to the QA environment.

  21. Look for regression packs to remove technical debt in testing – look back to regression test packs and remove unwanted test cases that might be useful in the current state of the project.

  22. Automate all phases of testing, right from test data creation to having regression testing based on the nature of the project.
    a. “For every nail there’s a hammer” – look for right kind of tool.

  23. Only running tested features are important.

  24. Involve business users in testing activities early on.
    a. If they are not part of the testing activities, it’s kind of risky and a sign of mini-Waterfall in Agile, as teams will wait for acceptance for releases/phases to complete.

  25. Enable continuous integration.

  26. Enable continuous builds.

  27. Always understand and speak the business language during interactions with the PO.

  28. Wear different hats during Agile projects: PO, UX/UI, end user, developer, DevOps, etc.

The future is all coding, so learn to code – automate!


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Alhad Akole
Agile CoE

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