How soon are you beginning your testing? Are you waiting for all requirements to be complete before testing? Does it take your developers a long time to get testable code into the testers hands?
Waiting to near the end of your development cycle is a common practice amongst new agile teams. It harkens back to the waterfall days where you completed all your development before testing. Ask yourself, “why am I waiting to test?”, and “what is getting in the way of delivering testable product to test?”
Testing earlier in the process requires changes in how you develop. Agile development requires changes in how you approach development as well. Delivering small batches makes it easier to identify issues and address them. It also helps you deliver value faster because the sooner you get something into the customer’s hands, the quicker you can get feedback. In order to get testers to start testing earlier in the cycle, testers need something to test, which means developers need to start thinking in a decoupled way.
Start looking at ways to decouple your code. Then have testers start testing earlier in the cycle. The sooner you get to testing, the less of a chance you’ll have a ‘death march’ to get to a release.
(Original article appeared in May 6th 2015 edition of The Tempo)