“Hit the Ground Running”
- Testers in agile must be proactive. Instead of waiting for work to come to them, they get up and go look for ways to contribute.
- Working on stories in advance of the iteration may be useful for teams that are split across different geographic locations. By working ahead, there’s time to get information to everyone and give them a chance to give their input.
- If we make our iteration planning go faster and reduce the risk of the stories we’re going to undertake, it’s worth doing some research and brainstorming before we start the iteration.
The Pre-Planning Meeting
- Go Over stories for the next iteration
- The Product owner explains the purpose of each story – business conditions of satisfaction.
- Team brainstorms about potential risks and dependencies, asks questions and figures out the simplest path.
- Pull in customers to answer questions, get a better idea.
- Experiment with short Pre-Iteration discussions and Test-Writing sessions
- Invest preparation time when it’s appropriate. There is a risk to ‘working ahead’.
- To go Fast – We need to Slow Down First!
Teams that are distributed in multiple locations may do their iteration planning by conference call, online meeting or teleconference. ( And Cut to 2020 – Coronian Times – Every one of us is doing that!! )
- One practice that Lisa’s team used was to assign each team a subset of the upcoming stories and have them write task cards in advance.
(I, too, have used this practice – only the Task Cards were in fact story Sub-tasks being created in JIRA for our user story items created by the PO)
- If the customers aren’t readily available to answer questions and make decisions, other domain experts who are accessible at all times should be empowered to guide the team by determining priorities and expressing desired system behavior with examples.
(I have experienced that – our Product Owners essentially did this job for us)
- Examples are an effective way to learn about and illustrate desired functionality. Using Examples, you can write high level tests to flesh out the story a bit more.
- Mock-ups are essential for stories involving UI or a report. Ask your customers to draw up their ideas about how the page should look.
- Before the next iteration – triage the outstanding issues with the customer. Those deemed necessary should be scheduled into the next iteration.