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30 Days of Agile Testing! Day sixteen.

Day 16:
What barriers do you feel exist in testing in agile?

Testing in agile, from where I sit, means testing at every phase of the development cycle - not just the ‘testing’ phase.
One of the barriers that exists with this shift of mindset is getting everyone else to buy in to that - especially in earlier phases of the project.

I don’t think it’s intentional - at least not usually - but getting testers included in the ideation, design or planning phases of a project seems to be an uphill battle sometimes.

Here’s some reasons testers should be pulled in early:

  • Testers often have a better holistic view of a product than other team members.
    As part of our day to day role, testers often have to consider the wide reaching implications of a change. They can bring this perspective to the table, and help consider how a new piece fits in with the product as a whole.
    (Does this overlap with an existing feature? Is the design consistent with other screens we have?)
  • Part of a testers role is to provide constructive criticism.
    It’s important to have a voice that can pick out problems with a potential feature early - the earlier a design flaw or architectural mis-step is found, the less expensive it is to fix.
  • Involving a tester in decisions early on, saves time later in the process.
    Often testers need to back to designers, product owners or analysts to question why a decision was made, or one approach was taken over another.
    If testers are part of this early decision making - then they will have less clarifying questions and back-and-forth conversations.

This is something that's close to my heart - I've found I've had to force my way in, just to get included early in the process sometimes - but it's worth doing, and other team members will see the value!
If it's something you're struggling with, I hope this helps!

- JE