These days, every development team says that they are on board with agile testing methods. The agile methods have been proven to deliver great results with regard to worker productivity, development speed, team collaboration, and defect reduction. Developers want to highlight the fact that they use agile techniques, however, not all managers live up to their word of using agile automated testing and so on. The managers who would like do develop a better understanding of how well they are doing with their agile testing or would like to get ideas on different ways to improve, should ask themselves the following questions and be truly honest in their answers.
How does test management factor into agile?
Software project leaders will want to know how to become the manager of an agile development team. This is a very simple question, although it has quite a complicated answer. Ben Williams and Tom Roden had an interview with InfoQ, and they said how agile methods do not have a conventional management structure, instead, they are mostly driven and directed by the testers themselves. This means that the testing team is sharing the responsibility, which makes the individual testers communicate on a more regular basis between each other. In failing to do so, things will not be moving and the necessary milestones will not be met.
What is the true role of the agile testing manager?
Both Williams and Roden made it clear that software testing has changed in the age of agile. However, where does this leave the team leaders who are used to performing tasks as a manager and playing a leading role? There are still a number of things that these managers can aim for after making the transition to agile. “Our view is that this sort of role works across many teams, championing, curating and coaching testing as a function, whilst instilling a mindset and toolkit of practices and techniques.” This means that instead of being a taskmaster, you are more of a business coach and advisor. You turn into an educator and you must be very supportive. Some will think that this is a reduction of their responsibility, but that isn’t the case. The concept of agile techniques may be new to a lot of team members and so they will be in need of advice, one-on-one coaching, and support constantly.
How do managers prepare for a shift to agile software testing?
Knowledge is power. Before you start to transition to agile, the managers need to take the time to learn as much as they possibly can about it so they are more educated. To discover the weak spots, there needs to be a close analysis on the existing processes in the current approach of software testing which will allow a more targeted game plane to be created for the transition. “Finding the activities where teams still need support and specialist knowledge and enabling them to learn and develop those skills, including cloud computing security will be how the most successful test managers evolve into more useful organizational change agents and enablers.” When transitioning to agile, every team will be taking a different route, but if they keep these points in mind, they will all be prepared to take on the challenge that lies ahead and to develop and approach that really works.