How Can Testers Add Value in Agile Projects?

What do Agile Testers do and how can they add value in Agile projects?

A tester on an Agile project will work differently than one working on a traditional project. Testers must understand the values and principles that underpin Agile projects, and how testers are an integral part of a whole-team approach together with developers and business representatives.

The members in an Agile project communicate with each other early and frequently, which helps with removing defects early and developing a quality product.

It is important to note that testers in Agile projects, don’t just focus on testing the product to find bugs, rather the focus should largely be on improving the processes to prevent defects, and testers play an important role in this.

Here, we look at how Agile Testers can add value in each stages of the software delivery in an Agile setup.

Agile Testers Adding Overall Value

Testers are involved in defining the overall quality and approach to testing and especially add value in the following activities:

Agile Testers Adding Value in Pre-Planning

Testers are involved in Pre-planning and Story grooming sessions and especially add value in the following activities:

  • Defining testable user stories, including acceptance criteria
  • Determining the testability of the user stories
  • Creating acceptance tests for the user stories
  • Participating in project and quality risk analyses

Agile Testers Adding Value in Sprint Planning

Testers are involved in Sprint planning meetings and especially add value in the following activities:

  • Planning the testing for the release
  • Participating in the detailed risk analysis of user stories
  • Creating acceptance tests for the user stories
  • Defining the necessary test levels
  • Breaking down user stories into tasks (particularly testing tasks)
  • Estimating testing effort associated with the user stories and all testing tasks
  • Identifying functional and non-functional aspects of the system to be tested
  • Supporting and participating in test automation at multiple levels of testing

Agile Testers Adding Value During Sprint

Testers are involved during Sprint and especially add value in the following activities:

  • Performing Exploratory Testing of new Features
  • Writing Automated Regression Tests for new and existing features
  • Integrating and Executing Automated Tests on a CI server
  • Feedback as soon as possible to the team in case of any issues
  • Update Acceptance Tests when new scenarios are thought of

Are you a Tester in an Agile Team? Do you add value to the project by participating on any of the above activities? Moreover, are you doing any activity which is not in the list above? Feel free to post your comments below.

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