Krista: We've shot two of these videos today, and two people have asked me to not be in the camera. I have a judgey face. It's fine.
Pat: Somebody said, "Can Krista just stand to the side?"
Krista: Today we're talking about quality assurance when it comes to the success of a project. In your experience, where do companies fail when it comes to QA?
Pat: Right. It's not so much that the program itself fails in terms of QA, but it's that they don't maximize the benefits that can come from using the Agile methods. Where companies really start to see value is when they start testing in an iterative fashion, where they're able to look at a user's story from beginning to end and fully go through that acceptance criteria and mark it closed.
Krista: You said a company usually has a prebaked QA process. How do you change this prebaked QA process to be more agile?
Pat: I think the best place to start is to stop looking at QA as a separate entity. You're going to see that when the testers or whoever is responsible for testing gets around to working that user story, that they'll be hard pressed to mark it complete and they're going to find themselves having to retest that same piece.
Krista: If QA is required and they're part of the cross functional team now, how do they really participate in the life cycle of the Agile program?
Pat: The amount of testing varies project to project without a doubt. I think that if you really look at it at a high level, QA has two main responsibilities in the cross functional team, assuming they're part of it. That's to analyze the user stories and the acceptance criteria to fully understand all of the different scenarios an end user might run into for that user story. Then the second would be to craft and execute testing scripts that would represent those scenarios.
Krista: It sounds like if your user stories and iterations are well crafted, you're going to eliminate waste. How do you align your user stories to really eliminate that waste?
Pat: A tester shouldn't be looking at a user's story unless they're ready to fully test it and close it out. Anything beyond that is just practice and the QA should be valuing their time in such a way that they're trying to reach the end goals and that's delivering all of the user stories for a release.
Pat: There's no time for practice. This is the big show.
Krista: That's all I got for you, Pat.
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