• Test management

 

Test management facilitates both the organization and the agile teams in high quality testing.

Helicopter view over teams
Agile teams have a strong focus on meeting the sprint goals. In situations where multiple teams work on different parts of a product or on different products that must work together, management supports the teams in finding clever and efficient solutions for integration and end-to-end testing. By keeping a helicopter view over the teams and IT landscape, test management oversees the complete solution and is able to make the right connection between teams to address these issues. Where needed, management finds solutions for integration and end-to-end testing challenges outside the scrum framework to ensure a high quality, integral solution.

Support the product owner(s)
Product owners prepare the product backlog by prioritizing user stories and defining releases that have clear and consistent added value for the customer. Test management supports the product owner(s) in optimal user story prioritization by addressing dependencies between and risks of user stories. Test management is used to think in integral solutions that must be acceptable for its users. When looked at user stories from the testing perspective, dependencies are often more clearly visible. This becomes especially important in situations with multiple agile teams, each having its own backlog that is owned by different product owners. Multi backlog alignment and coordination does not come naturally. Test management can facilitate this process. 

Test staffing and test competence
It is important that the testing discipline is present in the multi-disciplinary agile team. This means that there must be sufficient test competence and test capacity within the team. Test management enables the right test competence for the teams by providing training, coaching and studying new trends in the world of testing. Good practices developed in one team are made available for other teams and when teams have test staffing needs, management is supporting them in finding these either internally or externally. 

Manage the balance between team freedom and company demands
In agile scrum a lot of value is given to freedom of the team to organize its work. In bigger companies with multiple teams and a complex set of stakeholders to manage, freedom of choice can create risks and inefficiency. In these situation it is beneficial to facilitate testing for the teams by implementing a framework for testing that addresses important areas like risk identification, test tooling, test approach and test deliverables. Especially in strongly regulated or high risk environments with auditing requirements and severe legal exposure, test management helps the teams to implement the right approach to testing to ensure quality, transparency and efficiency (prevent reinventing wheels).

Levels and check points for test management

The levels for Test management are typified as follows:

  • Forming: Generic process
  • Norming: Support the process
  • Performing: Support the people

Please find the checkpoints below.

Forming
1. (Test) management allocates the proper test staff
2. A generic test approach is available
3. Test management provides birds eye view on quality and risks
4. Test management contributes to the release planning by adding a quality view to high level estimation
Norming
1. Test management initiates risk identification at product backlog level
2. Test management supports the product owner(s) to identify relations/dependencies between user stories prior to finalizing the release planning
3. Test management supports the SCRUM master in removal of test roadblocks
Performing
1. Test management facilitates test meetings to share the testing pitfalls and lessons learned over teams (and projects)
2. Test management provides mentoring to the teams to improve the quality of testing
3. Test management increases awareness and understanding of Agile testing within the organization