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Eleven Steps for Integrating Conventional Software Testing on a Scrum Team

  • Understand the Scrum process and the research and motivations behind it. Read Agile Software Development with Scrum (Prentice Hall, 2001, ISBN 0130676349) by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle. Use the online resources at the Control Chaos web site.
  • Let go of preconceived notions of how you think a development process should work. Be open-minded about different ideas.
  • Don't expect to base your testing on a requirements document done at the beginning of the project.
  • Be proactive in getting information on what needs to be tested. Use your judgment and skill as a tester and use various testing activities to gather information on the purpose of a product or feature. When you feel you're missing something that's preventing you from doing more testing, ask questions of developers, customers, and other team members.
  • Use design and requirements documents as a starting point for testing in each Sprint. Remember to look for hidden assumptions and focus on risk when planning a test strategy.
  • Plan your testing and set goals for each Sprint, and be pragmatic when adjusting to an iterative lifecycle. Continue with testing activities that work on your team.
  • Communicate frequently. Focus on providing feedback to the team.
  • Voice your opinions and effect change in design and project documentation if necessary.
  • Be ready to receive feedback, and listen to the developers' and customers' needs. Be empathetic and supportive; don't try to enforce a process.
  • Use your existing expertise to look for answers and think of creative solutions. Much of what you already know as a tester works in Scrum.
  • Strive for continuous improvement. Use retrospectives to find out from other team members how testers can improve.
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