What do Leaders Need to Know to Succeed with Agile Testing with Janet Gregory

@janet_gregory is second to the stage for TestBash New Zealand to explore how we can influence our leaders as they shift their mindset to building quality in.

If you’ve got questions for Janet about the talk, add them here :point_down:

Remember to :heart: questions that you like to show appreciation for others and help @jamesespie see what questions are popular to ask live.

How do you balance the amount of testing that QA does with how much developers should do directly within their code or before sending to QA for testing? For example, who should automate which parts of the software, and how to balance white/black box testing, without too much overlap.


How do you determine timelines for regression testing or comprehensive checklists, especially within sprints, and when considering release deadlines?

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How to encourage increased testing/quality checks before production as a new tester in an environment where editing files live on prod, or deployment with failed tests is accepted?


Nowdays working in remote I found much more complicated to influence leaders than before when was easier to observe the teams and provide examples. Do you have any advice?


How do you deal with conflict within a team regarding the testing being done and plans for making improvements to processes? For example, you have a developer who is reticent about actually getting involved for example and will not get involved. When cake just won’t cut it. Do you carry on without them?

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That is such a tough question Mark. I haven’t seen an environment like that for a lot of years. I think I’d probably start by gathering some costs of the bug. how much time is spent fixing it, time switching gears, cost to the customer - losing money, or maybe it’s more intangible. I’d probably also start looking for places to introduce small changes like making an effort to get my tests to the programmers before they code or as soon as I can. or maybe pairing with the programmer on his/her machine as soon as they’ve finished coding to give fast feedback. Sometimes small efforts can have huge impacts.

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Working remotely has it’s challenges because you can’t just run into people in the hallway. I’d suggest setting up a specific meeting - you can call it a “I miss talking to you” session, or a “I want to catch you up on some things I’ve observed” session. It has to be a much more deliberate action. Observing teams is also different. The nuances are hidden in chats sometimes, or pairing sessions so you have to look harder.


Links shared in the chat and talk

  1. Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps, Nicole Forsgren PhD, Jez Humble, Gene Kim https://www.bookdepository.com/Accelerate-Nicole-Forsgren-Phd/9781942788331
  2. Liz Keogh on Cynefin https://lizkeogh.com/cynefin-for-developers/
  3. Liz Keogh’s talk about Cynefin from TestBash Belfast https://www.ministryoftesting.com/dojo/lessons/cynefin-for-testers-liz-keogh?s_id=5488166
  4. https://agiletester.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2014/09/Gregory_Chapter_8_Final.pdf More on the agile testing quadrants
  5. Dan Ashby’s we test here model https://danashby.co.uk/2016/10/19/continuous-testing-in-devops/
  6. Margaret Dineen on quality sliders https://3weststreet.com/using-priority-sliders-to-help-create-a-team-vision-of-quality/
  7. Series of 4 blog posts on testing and quality https://janetgregory.ca/what-is-testing/
  8. Agile Testing Condensed on LeanPub https://leanpub.com/agiletesting-condensed

I try not to ignore specific people because it makes for tension in a team. I try to find out what the root issue is and address that. Sometimes it takes small steps… many small steps, perhaps by sharing chocolate or saying hi. Building a relationship. or finding some way to make contact. Sometimes you have to bring it up to the team in a retrospective - not blaming, but talking about specific issues - how should “we” address it. make it a team problem. that said, sometimes, you have to walk away and ignore it …