November 23, 2021 - 3 min
Sprint Cycle - An Overview From the QA Perspective
here does the sprint start? Maybe from the first day of the sprint or earlier? Earlier, because the cycle does not start from the first day of the sprint, it always starts before 🙂
There are five Scrum Events recognized in Scrum:
- Sprint Planning
- Sprint Review
- Sprint Retrospective
I won’t write about what each scrum event is but how Quality Assurance feels in these Events and when the Sprint cycle begins for Quality Assurance. The agile Quality Assurance process begins at the start of the software development life cycle.
Will go from the initial design and planning meeting, through the development phase, to the final testing of the application. This process is usually repeated in two-week sprints until the project is released. Quality Assurance is essential. If you have ever been frustrated with the technology in your life before, often it is a result of poor software quality.
The role of QA is integral to the success of each project
Modern companies have made the shift from the traditional waterfall development methodology to an agile process. Agile testing introduces QA into the project as early as possible to foresee issues, write and execute test cases, and uncover any gaps in the requirement.
Sprints benefit the client by delivering working software earlier rather than later, anticipating change, providing better estimates in less time, and allowing the course corrections instead of completely derailing the project. The QA team can incorporate lessons learned from previous projects to improve the process for future projects.
Important steps for the sprint cycle from a QA perspective
1. QA must be in sprint planning and estimation
The project manager, developers, and QA are mandatory participants for this session. QA specialists bring a unique perspective to reviewing user stories and planning tasks. They do not consider only happy paths but also some negative scenarios and edge cases and can identify gaps. QA things out of the box.
2. All tasks must be testable
The tasks must be testable. Some tasks require additional preparation, data, access, tools to make it possible to test them. If such tasks are prepared and we ensure that all blockers are resolved, we can include them in the sprint plan. On the other hand, if some tasks are marked as Ready for QA, but cannot be tested, don’t even get caught trying.
3. Tasks need to be broken into small parts
By keeping tasks small and simple, you decrease the communication overhead and the risk of missing deadlines. Since the bug reports from the QA side require further discussion, research, and finally fixing those same bugs in the same sprint, the time is very short.
4. Prepare test cases
It would be best if all test plans and edge cases were prepared before each planning. Of course, this is not always possible, especially if there are some risks or errors themselves. Sometimes some test cases can be prepared after sprint planning. Once development has begun working on the tasks, QA can be finalizing test cases.
5. Regression testing
After every release, full regression testing would be preferred, especially with the product releases. Full regression testing should take a max of 6-7 hours and cover all the application parts. Sometimes, QAs use smoke testing with the most important aspects of the application to know that the application will not crash after it is released to production.
A crucial thing for QA is to TEST OFTEN !!! Within each sprint, QA engineers test and re-test the product with each new feature added.
This allows them to validate that the new features were implemented as expected and to catch any defects that may have been introduced. It is important to test as early as possible and as often as it is needed results in time and budget spare. After each sprint, the whole team has a meeting that is called Sprint retrospective.
The team looks back on the last sprint and talks about what went well and what should be improved in the next sprint. The QA tells their review on the sprint from problems with the environments, critical bugs found late in the process, to long-lasting scenario reviews.
In addition to some blockers or problems that were in the sprint, the team shares positive feedback, such as exceptional teamwork or good collaboration between developers and testers. The main goal is to apply these findings for future sprint improvements. While every sprint is dierent, they share the same goal — delivering the best quality to the users.
The main goal is to apply these findings for future sprint improvements. While every sprint is dierent, they share the same goal — delivering the best quality to the users. One more important thing for QA is to Know your Audience.
That means that the QA process will improve. Will enable your team to build value-driving applications. When you are familiar with who will be using the actual end-product, you can better prioritize the QA process to save time and money in the sprints!
Team Work makes the Dream Work
Behind each project, there is a team of professionals. Each person working on the project is responsible for ensuring the quality, but the primary responsibility for quality rests with the QA team. The QA team understands what the client needs the system to do and can prove the client’s satisfaction with the system.
When starting on your next sprint, and after that, be sure to involve your QA member from the beginning of project planning until final execution.
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