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Coming from a scrum environment with no integrated testing support and an independent minded QA staff, how is a tester (QA person) best integrated with a scrum team? What should they do?

For reference some test functions are:

  • Unit Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • Functional Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Acceptance Testing
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    3 Answers 3

    up vote 3 down vote accepted
    • they should participate in design meetings.
    • they should participate in standups.
    • They should give feedback as to the testability of the software being built.
    • they should analyze what is being developed to come up with a comprehensive plan to test it.
    • they should write automated tests.
    • they should do exploratory testing.
    • they should monitor nightly test runs.
    • they should act as a testing mentor to the developers.
    • they should be quality ambassadors, and the customer advocate.

    A really good book on this subject is Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. Highly, highly recommended.

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    Scrum Master

    Because the team must have people with cross-funcional skills.

    Scrum is facilitated by a Scrum Master, who is accountable for removing impediments to the ability of the team to deliver the sprint goal/deliverables. The Scrum Master is not the team leader, but acts as a buffer between the team and any distracting influences. The Scrum Master ensures that the Scrum process is used as intended. The Scrum Master is the enforcer of the rules of Scrum, often chairs key meetings, and challenges the team to improve. The role has also been referred to as a servant-leader to reinforce these dual perspectives. The Scrum Master differs from a Project Manager in that the latter may have people management responsibilities unrelated to the role of Scrum Master. The Scrum Master role excludes any such additional people responsibilities...

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    2  
    A good position to place them! It keeps them up-to-date on what's happening, and they can be involved in as many side-conversations as needed to ensure they're aware of the details as they evolve. –  STW Oct 20 '10 at 21:04
        
    No, scrummasters should be scrummasters, and testers should be testers. They are very distict roles requiring different skillsets. –  Bryan Oakley Jun 1 '12 at 22:27

    If they're in the code--have them do standard code-reviews before a task is completed. Their review can encompass a review of the functionality as well as a code-guideline review (if they have enough experience as a developer or in code to get by).

    Basically, when someone reports a "done" then it becomes a QA todo. It's actually a very good idea to integrate this quick-QA approach, provided they can keep up--it's always best to catch issues sooner rather than later, so even if it's not comprehensive it can have the effect of accelerating the formal/full QA cycle.

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