Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Agile tester role during design and development in an agile team

How an agile tester can contribute towards design and development of software application in an agile team.

There is always a question what are the task a tester should do during design and development in an Agile team. A simple answer, we all know, which is , during this time tester is busy designing test scenarios, test cases, preparing test automation etc.
But my experiences says an agile tester can also contribute towards proper design and development.
Here are my findings:

Contribution towards Design:
When team has the story to work on, at first developer does the low level design. Now either the whole team does the design together in a common room or a pair or a single developer does the design. If a single or pair of developer does the design then they should go through and explain their design to the whole team. In either case the tester should present in this meeting. In this discussion, tester will gain not only the system design knowledge but he/she can forward his already created test scenarios or think about scenarios and discuss within the team. This activity will help the developer to correct the design if necessary to avoid any occurrence of bug.
In my past experiences, it happened to me. During one of our design review meeting, when the developer was explaining his design, I saw one of my scenario is not getting covered then I asked what will happen in such cases. When my team understood the scenario they modified the design. This design modification leads proper implementation, which not only saves the time of finding the bug, reporting , fixing and retesting but at the end it improves the deliverable quality.
Now you might have a question if the tester is not well-versed with the development technology how can he understand the technical discussion, my experience says, it is not required to be well versed with the development technology, if the tester is attending the design review meeting regularly, they can definitely be able to understand the discussion.

Contribution towards Development:
After having the test scenarios, agile tester should explain his scenarios to the team. This activity helps the team to understand or visualize the functionality in a better way.
This leads to proper implementation and a bug free deliverable.
During this discussion team can also identifies or improve or add some more scenarios which helps the tester to understand the system behavior.


  1. Cannot agree more than this.... but mostly organizations don't follow such a methodology because of higher development costs for which they end up with spending more money somewhere at a later stage...

    1. @Sanjay Mazumder: As per my knowledge, most of the organizations are now already adapted or trying to adapt agile methodology where ever possible, because of its already proven benefits in all side, organization costs, organization benefits and employee satisfaction. But blindly adapting agile will not give you the proven benefits rather it ruins you. Agile gives you flexibility and utilization of these flexibility should be in a proper way. Without understanding the concept in deep, if any organization tries to adapt agile then it will definitely have an adverse effect. There is no doubt about it. This where you need an agile coach. If someone fails because of his ignorance doesn't mean there is a higher development costs.
      I have been practicing agile several years now, also worked in waterfall team in past, I also have been a part of a transition team from water fall to agile, also have been working with fully grown agile team. Now I am able to understand the pros and cons, understood the benefits. Agile is a concept, It is not possible to explain in a day or in some sentences. It requires time, study, guidance and practice to understand it. If there was a higher development costs for some organization does not conclude anything. However I appreciate your perception at the same time I hope to see your perception changing :) Good luck and keep hunting for the knowledge.

  2. Hello Bidyut,

    Good artical, Appreciate your time spent on this and sharing teh knowledge.

    My Point on the contribution to the Developmet as below.
    According to you, what I could read is you are trying to implement it as a TEST driven development approach, in this case the test scenarios should be 100% accurate which covers all the Positives and Negatives.