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Agile Testing: cross-project benefits

Gian Franco
blacksmith
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Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 977
Hi Lisa and Janet,

Given a small team, with more than one project...here's my question,
but first an example

Example, a team introduces continuous database integration and
figures out a better way to create, organize, run database migrations
for all its projects enabling smoother database refactorings.

Likewise, can testing activities be organized in such way so that projects
benefit of each others test findings or artifacts?

Thanks,

Gian


"Eppur si muove!"
Paul Wallace
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Joined: Oct 09, 2006
Posts: 40
Suggestion, if you can refactor the common artifacts out of your projects then you would have a core that could be tested independently thus reducing the testing on the individual projects.

I know this is easier said than done, but you can weight up the benefits against the effort in achieving a common base and determine if it is worth while.

Regards

Paul
Gian Franco
blacksmith
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Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 977
Paul Wallace wrote:Suggestion, if you can refactor the common artifacts out of your projects then you would have a core that could be tested independently thus reducing the testing on the individual projects.

I know this is easier said than done, but you can weight up the benefits against the effort in achieving a common base and determine if it is worth while.


Hi Paul,

I agree, that's indeed what we are aiming at by writing api's and reusing them.

What would be interesting to know is how to tackle 'refactoring' on a less technical
level and have reusable testing artifacts

Cheers,

Gian
Janet Gregory
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Joined: Jan 25, 2009
Posts: 31
Hi Gian,

I think your question could be taken one of two ways. Paul has answered the technical side of things. The other is related to people issues, and cultural issues. Each project is different so how one team reports on testing may be completely different than another. This can cause confusion if members move from one team to another, and even to upper management because the numbers may not be comparable.

You said you had a small team so it should be fairly straight forward to get all stakeholders to discuss what is really needed as artifacts... If you are talking about test results, are you using the same tools? If not, why not - there can be valid reasons, but I'd question to find out why. The more you can leverage off each project, the less waste there will be is switching from one project to another.

On one large project I was on, we had a test community that shared ideas between teams. When one team figured out how to make their tests work in a new and simple way, they shared it with the other teams. This didn't guarantee everyone did it the same way, but it definitely made artifacts much more consistent. I was the process consultant on the team and helped the teams to be fairly consistent in how they created their artifacts.

I hope that answered your intial question - I may have gotten off track a bit.
Janet

Co-author, with Lisa Crispin: Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley, 2009) www.janetgregory.ca
Gian Franco
blacksmith
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Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 977
Janet Gregory wrote:
...it definitely made artifacts much more consistent. I was the process consultant on the team and helped the teams to be fairly consistent in how they created their artifacts.

I hope that answered your intial question - I may have gotten off track a bit.


Hi Janet,

Yes, thank you, it answers my question...but what artifacts did the team in your example
make more consistent?

Gian
Janet Gregory
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Joined: Jan 25, 2009
Posts: 31
Gian Franco wrote:

but what artifacts did the team in your example make more consistent?

Gian


Once we had the process fairly consistent, I created a couple of documents - one was a test strategy document that all new testers coming in could read. It explained our agile process and how to approach our testing, from planning to release. Another was a simple (fairly simply anyhow) swim lane diagram showing where artifacts needed to be produced. (note there was a number of iterations involved to get these right).

We produced some templates as a guideline for session based testing, after Jon Bach did some consulting and showed the team how to take advantage of this skill. We also made use of checklists.

Each team is different and I have found that larger organizations need more effort to try to keep some level of consitency across teams if that is what is needed.

Janet
Gian Franco
blacksmith
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Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 977
Janet Gregory wrote:...We also made use of checklists.


I found this interesting article: The Checklist

Cheers,

Gian
Janet Gregory
Author
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Joined: Jan 25, 2009
Posts: 31
Gian,

Thank you for that link. Excellent.

Janet
 
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