FIVE Holy Commandments for Automation Agile Testers

agile-teamOK, so your organization is thinking of implementing Agile and QA Automation (Gawd bless them!). Start getting excited because it IS the right move; we know from our own experience that Agile is a big player in speeding up QA automation adaptation.

But there are risks; it’s certainly more expensive using Agile, as you should typically have resources close at hand (although as we have previously mentioned (click here to read), geographical factors don’t always have to play that big an issue when you have the right outsourcing provider in place). In addition, it’s not easy determining just how much ROI Agile automation will bring; it perhaps makes more sense to view the process as part of a bigger product life-cycle picture.

So with our extensive experience in QA Automation and implementing Automation in Agile (check out this recent presentation we gave at the Agile Israel 2014 conference), we thought it was about time we gave it to you straight and tell you just what it takes to succeed in Agile automation testing. Forget budgets, geographical factors and whatever other obstacles crop up – if you don’t have the factors below in alignment, you might not as well bother with building that Agile Automation Testing team.Here they are, our FIVE commandments for successful Agile automation testers:

  • Make sure testers have an Agile testing mind-set. Team members should be team players, with the willingness to take on change and all kinds of challenges. To cut a long story short, they should be customer-focused, and geared towards delivering amazing business value through results, while simultaneously be keen to learn new things.
  • Skills are less critical, it’s all about the attitude. Attitude is the key factor here – we’d even go so far as to say as forget the skill-set your team members have, it’s really not as major a player as you’d think. If they’ve got what it takes to take on board the Agile methodology and run with it, you’ll soon forget about any lack of skills.
  • Your testers must apply Agile values and principles. It’s important that testers work on that Agile methodology, especially the elements of feedback and communication. But testers must also be brave enough to implement that feedback and communication so that the team recognizes the testers input as an important cog in the process; as a result, the whole team can work on the customer requirements for each user story, and hence increase business value.
  • Agile testers need to ENJOY… Testers need to enjoy their interaction in the Agile team; they need to enjoy taking on new challenges; they need to enjoy helping developers and customer teams resolve issues; and they need to enjoy adding genuine value to their team and organization.
  • At least 25% of Agile testers should be experienced testers. Testers should be able to use their experience to determine the automation scale of a project. And heck, yes, even make that decision to automate or not, because yes, it’s OK if a task doesn’t need automating. Even HP have recently stated that ‘unless you will run a script a minimum of 7 times, there will not be any payback for automation.’  It’s certainly not easy to verify the ROI value of each and every task for automation, but an experienced tester should be able to evaluate whether automation is the right thing to do…or not.

If you’d like more information on how we can help you get the best out of your QA and Agile Automation, please get in touch!