Software testing is the area closest to IT development in research. The area of software development is also increasingly defined by the scrum principle, which of course has an impact on testing as a management discipline. In this article, I would like to describe in concrete terms what these effects are in concrete terms and to investigate them even more profoundly in my research.

agile testing
Idea of Scrum: a process about all (own presentation based on the idea of tree gardeners)

Baumgartner et al. (2013, p. 3) show in the figure above that Scrum defines a process for all roles. In the picture you can see how this one process combines the roles of the project leader, requirements engineer and that of the tester. So “test” as a discipline no longer exists in isolation from scrum. Rather, the tester, like the other roles, becomes part of the entire agile process.

agile test
The figure shows how the tasks of the tester are divided into operational tasks as well as into strategic tasks (own presentation on the idea of from Baumgartner et al. 2013, p. 101)

In the presentation of Baumgartner et al. (2013, p. 101) let’s see how the role of the new, agile tester is split equally into the tasks of the test manager and tester. Thus, a person or the agile department performs operational tasks on the one hand – these tasks include testing per se, measurements as well as logging and tracking – and on the other hand also strategic tasks, such as planning, estimating and organizing the tests.

Agile Test – The role of the tester in the team

But where do we have to rank the tester in the entire team at the moment? Baumgartner et al. 2013, p.112 provide an answer in the below: The tester is in close contact with the development team, which feeds him with information or which the tester gets through the monitoring of the process. He is also in direct contact with the PO (Product Owner) in order to be able to correctly evaluate the development on the basis of the requirements set by the product owner, which are in turn set by the stakeholders. Testers now also estimate the testing effort in Sprint Planning and thus provide an essential contribution to the product. As part of my research, I am reviewing these approaches. In his book, Baumgartner illustrates the connections between the individual roles within Scrum: The tester checks the development against the specifications of the PO.

In practice, there is an increasing testing effort in the course of the respective product development. However, according to Scrum, this growth is not really conducive, as the testing effort should be constant throughout the process and not, as can be seen in the figure below, increase towards the end. In the first interviews, we learn that testers are preparing and preparing the tests, so to speak, and estimating expenses. Thus, the testing effort in the observing teams was nevertheless the same for the entire duration of the process. The quality was also very high at the beginning.

agile tester
The figure shows the increase in testers, or the increase in requirements for tests at the end of development. We also see the RE decreasing as the process progresses. According to Scrum, the requirement or number of testers should be the same over the entire process (own representation based on the idea from Baumgartner et al. 2013, p. 82)

Basic Principles of Agile Test

For this paragraph I list some tips for the agile test, which I found on Wikipedia and summarize here.

    • Quick feedback: 2 weeks or less
    • High degree of automation of the test
    • Low overhead in the form of test management
    • Resolution of test roles (test manager, analyst, etc.)
    • Resolution of test levels from the V-model (unit, integration, system…)
  • Close team collaboration (feature teams, testers sometimes write code)
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Verwendete Quellen anzeigen

Baumgartner, M., Klonk, M., Pichler, H., Seidl, R., & Tanczos, S. (2013).
Agile Testing
. Munich: Hanser Verlag.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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