Build Your QA Guild
In the agile approach test engineers will be working as a part of their scrum teams and they can easily become isolated from other test community. What to do? Build your QA Guild!
In my previous blog post I already wrote about the first steps to take when building your test team in the agile world. In this blog post, I will focus on the best practices you should implement once you have your test team set up already.
1. Schedule Weekly QA Meetings
You should have at least weekly QA meetings (within your QA guild) where knowledge will be shared and problems will be analyzed.
2. Invite for Lean Coffee Meetings
It can be very useful to have the occasional lean coffee format meeting for your test engineers where people can discuss different ideas. Day to day work can easily slip into the work-report routine and it is important to have some creative meetings instead of just regular ones.
3. Create the One Pager Report
A single page that aggregates statuses from all projects will save you a lot of time for reporting.
4. Delegate One Member for QA Status Update
It is also good practice to delegate one member (per team) to update the QA status of their team. The QA lead will need to monitor the status page and intervene when the need arises. Having this page available to people/management outside your QA guild can also come in handy.
5. Invest in Support Libraries and Learning Tools
If appropriate, you can have a small team working on support libraries and tools that will be used by test engineers working on Scrum teams. This can greatly help you in scaling up your team - by reusing resources and code you can do more with less.
Communication is extremely important here - people working in Scrum teams should know what is available in common libraries so they can automate new tests faster than designing them from scratch.
6. Don't Forget about the Manual Testers
Although everyone is talking about automation and you can’t imagine the test process without automated scripts in Continuous Integration / Continuous Development, it is important to have manual testers on your test team. They can be a great source of knowledge about which tests should be automated and which ones are more suitable for manual testing. Also, don’t forget about good old exploratory testing – no automation can help you there.
To conclude - having a QA guild in your agile organization will help you support test engineers and it will help them share knowledge. However, a standalone test team working as a separate entity is a relic of the past that offers little added value.
You can find more about squads, guilds, chapters here.
And this is how we do it at Comtrade Digital Services http://comtradedigital.com/quality-assurance-control-testing/