The Scrum Framework for Testers

A tester’s responsibilities include the optimisation of the quality of the product and to help the team build the product right. This can be done by analysing requirements, designing test cases, and testing the product to check if it works as expected. However, product development can be very complex, especially for projects that are creating brand new applications.

Testers can create test cases to help predict and control the product output, but there are still some unknowns to deal with. These include: a feature may not be feasible to make due to technical limitations; or a competitor’s product launch may hasten the speed of development and shorten the project timeline.

The good news is that the Scrum Framework has an empirical, inspect-and-adapt approach when it comes to product development. Instead of attempting to predict and control all unknowns at the start of the project, Scrum lets project teams build good-enough solutions in short bursts, get feedback from the users, and then iterate on the solution based on the feedback.

The Scrum Framework, Explained

 Scrum comes from scrummage in rugby, where players restart the play after a minor infringement. Players from both teams have specific roles, and compete to repossess the ball.  A Scrummage can happen again and again within the game.

The product development version of Scrum also involves team members with specific roles, except that the play this time refers to the application being developed. Scrum team members would periodically revisit the product being developed and assess its quality to determine what is good, what can be improved, and what they can do to improve it. They follow certain processes in order to manage the tasks and move the project forward.

Some of the key characteristics of Scrum include:

  • Valuing commitment, focus, courage, openness, and respect
  • Self-organised and cross-functional team members
  • Time-boxes for tasks and activities
  • Being empirical and running on transparency, adaptation, and inspection

In order to better understand the Scrum framework, its following components will be discussed: Scrum roles, Scrum artefacts, and Sprint events.

Scrum Roles

 There are only three roles in Scrum:

  • Scrum Master – who coaches the team on the scrum practices, ensures that the team is productive, and facilitates the removal of impediments.
  • Product Owner – owns the Product Backlog for the project and is responsible for prioritising the product backlog.
  • Development Team – a mix of professionals with the skills and competencies needed to implement the product features.

As you can see, the “tester” role is not mentioned here. This is because Scrum recognises the development team as a single unit. So whether one is a data analyst, a developer, or a tester, they are one team who builds the product together.

Scrum Artefacts

 In the Scrum Framework, the Scrum Team members interact with work items and deliverables known as “Scrum artefacts.” They are the objects of the inspect and adapt processes of Scrum, and are designed to be transparent for this purpose. There are three main artefacts in Scrum:

  • Product Backlog – the ordered list of epics and user stories needed to create the entire product.
  • Sprint Backlog – the ordered list of user stories that will be developed for the current Sprint.
  • Product Increment – the inspected, done work that is potentially shippable at the Sprint’s end.

User stories are conversations captured on a “card” or statement that summarise what the target user needs. In order for the team to effectively implement the user stories, they need to be well-defined and clear to everyone. Testers help here by asking questions to ensure the requirements are known to everyone. They also write the acceptance tests that would make up the minimum viable product.

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Our Book Recommendations

We found these books great for finding out more information on Agile Scrum:

Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Tester With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)

Introductory Offer: Free Course

Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Tester With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)

What is this course?

This ‘Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Tester With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)’ provides an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Tester roles and responsibilities

You will explore the Agile Scrum project life-cycle, including how an Agile User Story is created, to how we know when it is ‘done’

This course is aimed at those with or without prior knowledge and experience of the Agile values and principles

During this course you will learn the tools needed to succeed as an Agile Scrum Tester

What will you learn?

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Tester roles and responsibilities, and you will be able to

  • Fully understand the role of the Agile Scrum Tester
  • Understand the roles involved in an Agile project
  • Create an effective Product Backlog
  • Effectively participate in Scrum Meetings such as the Daily Stand-up, Sprint Review and Retrospective
  • Identify the roles involves in the Scrum Team
  • Fully understand the role of the Agile Scrum Developer
  • Understand the roles involved in an Agile project
  • Create an effective Product Backlog
  • Effectively participate in Scrum Meetings such as the Daily Stand-up, Sprint Review and Retrospective
  • Identify the roles involves in the Scrum Team

What topics are covered within this course

You will cover the following topics during this course:

  1. An Introduction to Agile Project Management (Tester)
  2. The 12 Agile Principles (Tester)
  3. Introduction to Scrum (Tester)
  4. Scrum Projects (Tester)
  5. Scrum Project Roles (Tester)
  6. Quality in Agile (Tester)
  7. Acceptance Criteria and the Prioritised Product Backlog (Tester)
  8. Quality Management in Scrum (Tester)
  9. Epics and Personas (Tester)
  10. Planning in Scrum (Tester)
  11. Scrum Boards (Tester)
  12. User Stories (Tester)
  13. The Daily Scrum (Tester)
  14. The Product Backlog (Tester)
  15. Review and Retrospective (Tester)
  16. Validating a Sprint (Tester)