The tester is a member of a Scrum team. This is a different mindset from the traditional views on testers in software development. The agile tester focuses on delivering value instead of on testing. The agile tester is responsible for delivering what the business needs instead of just finding bugs. Most importantly: the agile tester is not responsible for testing! Recently I published an article on testing in a Scrum team for the Eurostar 2010 newsletters. It’s about the mindset of an Agile tester. This blog post summarizes the core of that article. To get there, together! Good interaction is the key to good results. An agile mindset and working in an agile process facilitates a cooperative spirit: “To get there, together !”. To have that ‘Agile Mindset’ means to respect the balance that is presented by the Agile Manifesto and take all decisions you make ( big or small) in the spirit of these principles. A good Scrum Team feels responsible for the delivery of the desired software on time and according to the agreed quality standards. From a testing perspective some modern test approaches like SmarTEST are designed for ‘agility’ in the testing process. Although SmarTEST has a strong focus on people and interaction, the big change for the tester may still not be fully perceived. Full adaptation of agile principles means that the agile tester is not responsible for testing! How about that?! The team as a whole is responsible for the collective result, which includes testing as one of the steps. What does this mean for the role of the tester? For a tester to be truly successful in an agile team he needs to change in four way. These four points describe the heart of the mindset of an agile tester.
- The tester is responsible for delivering what the business needs (not for finding bugs).
- The tester is focussed on delivering business value (not on just writing, executing and reporting tests)
- The tester is a full-time member of the team (not just at the start and end of a sprint)
- The tester is no longer a tester, he's a team member with a talent for testing