Agile Testing with Lisa Crispin – Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my notes on Lisa Crispin’s talk on Agile Testing. If you haven’t go catch up on Part One.

Lisa noted that her team stopped committing at the sprint level. They just work hard, don’t waste time and just focus on delivering the software. This works by letting the customer know that you are working by being transparent to them.

Teams need time to learn, experiment, and need slack. Need to give the team time to innovate and catch up on the latest technology, as well as to have time to move to the latest technology.

Automated tests need as much care and feeding as the code.

She noted that by learning the business it helped cut down time dealing with production support. She noted that they found scenarios where they could automated support tasks, or were even solving the wrong business problems. Lisa gave an example where a user kept requesting a report and it was being delivered to the user as they understood it, but it took sitting down with the end user to actually understand the report as the user was actually requesting it.

Lisa made reference to look at: Daniel Pink and Intrinsic Motivators, The Agile Samurai by Jonathan Rasmusson, and Jim Heismith and Israel Gat and their research into measuring technical debt, and her article Selling Agile to the CFO.

The quote of the evening seemed to be: “If it doesn’t have to work, you don’t have to test it.”

Emphasized that QA shouldn’t be treated as separate from development; QA time is part of development time.

Lisa pointed out that the most value was not in the actual integration tests, but was in the communication between the developers and testers that resulted from the interaction.

If you have too many thing going on at the same time, you task switch too much, the result is that you have a hard time predicting when you are done.

Encouraged us to try to get away from labels and just try to deliver the best value and best quality software that you can.

Encourage cross pollination across different teams in the area. You never know where new ideas come from. She talked about how she brought back the idea of an impediment backlog from when she visited over in the UK. When she took this idea back to her team she noticed that just making the impediment visible helped the team address those issues. –This reminded me of the Craftsman Swap that both Obtiva and 8th Light encourage, as well as Corey Haines’ journeyman tour.