You may think about velocity and the metric used for measuring how much the team gets done reputation while thinking about the productivity of the Agile Testing best practices. Nevertheless, Agile testing methodology is used to know how many points a team could achieve on average sprint and then determine how many points they will agree to achieve in the next sprint iteration. Velocity shouldn't be used to determine if the team is productive or not as it's just a simple indicator dependent on past sprints.
Having high velocity doesn't mean that much, instead what matters is the result at the end and what the team has produced. Pushing the team to enhance the velocity drastically makes no sense instead it could be costly and it leads the team to cut corners on acceptable testing, skip fixing bugs and minimize refactoring just to reach the velocity. If you need to increase your team's speed try and focus on optimal velocity over time instead of maximized velocity that considers the quality of the end product in helping your team to be more productive.
Agile Testing Best Practices to Increase Productivity
Let's review some of the agile testing best practices that will increase your productivity:
1. Remove Impediments
The key role of the Agile testing methodology is to ensure that impediments are taken into consideration early in the development process. Asking good questions while writing user stories and ensuring that developers have all things required to perform the task by being a shield of the development team to not be distracted by agile testing quadrants at tasks that the scrum master needs to perform every day.
To do: In the event that the team is disrupted, suggest that queries and assistance requests be directed to the scrum master.
Pro tips: Distractions are the main reason for less productivity in a team. A team will lose focus because of these distractions and won't justify why they delivered lower than normal productivity.
2. Team Size
The team should be something between 3 to 9 persons for being efficient. Surpassing this limit will increase communication problems and you will lose more time in discussions. If your team is bigger than the specified limit then you need to split into one or more teams.
To do: Ensure that the size of your team isn't too big and all members fit the project's requirements. Also, take care of turnover as including new members won't help in delivering results any faster.
Pro tips: Working with the use team in scrum isn't a very good idea. The more you try to do the more people will start losing information and more effort will be required for making everyone aware of everything going on.
Also Read: Tips for Agile Testing
3. Daily Meetings
It is repetitive to say but all team members must attend daily meetings every day. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes per day and will provide you with an overview of how the work is progressing. If a conversation gets off-topic it should be suspended after the meeting.
To do: Be patient and prepared before the meeting and keep in mind what you have done previously and what you need to do today.
Pro tips: It becomes very important to exchange as communication is very important in the scrum.
4. Product Backlog
Everything starts from the backlog and keeping it clean and clear is essential. By reading the backlog you will understand where the application goes and have a track on the version of what needs to be built shortly in the Agile Testing best practices.
To do: The more precise the user stories are, the less time the development team will spend attempting to figure out what they mean. Always ensure that user stories have enough details. Reorder them only if required, change your priority and move them to the icebox while expecting the next release.
Pro tips: The fact that the PO does not spend enough time on the backlog is a common issue faced during agile testing quadrants for a variety of reasons. Ensuring that the backlog has enough ready-to-use user stories for one or two students is essential.
5. Continuous Improvement Mindset
Scrum is a perpetual development process so it's natural to improve the whole process and not just the software. Also known as Kaizen and the end goal is to find something to enhance at the end of each sprint and accomplish during the following one. By doing so you will be able to remove one problem at a time and help in programming.
To do: Find one particular action to achieve that will help the team during the sprint retrospective. And to make it work someone needs to be responsible for executing the action.
Pro tips: Start with something simple in a sprint that won't take too long, then at the sprint retrospective, ask each participant for comments. Also, choose one and discuss the plan for achieving it.
6. Interruption Buffer
While running an application in production you need to delete maintenance by delivering new features and sometimes interruptions will occur. It could be a critical bug that's been reported or another team that needs a developer to help them. It is difficult to ignore the rest of the world while delivering a product and you need to deal with this interruption in the current sprint.
To do: Create US with a small number of points and then added to the next sprint. The number of points depends upon the number and time utilized by your current interactions.
Pro tip: In case no interaction occurs this time could be used at the end of each sprint to help on other tickets or even better. Let developers do some R&D for the project.
7. Make Work Visible
It is a known fact that by making the work visible you will help the team in becoming more responsible for the Agile Testing best practices. Following metrics and other charts printed and displaying them on walls will also keep stakeholders and colleagues know about how the product is moving forward.
To do: Update the burnout chat daily and display the Kaizen you need to achieve, then show the customer or team satisfaction. You can also present a road map of what you are building for sharing your vision. Lots of information you can display will help you to get your idea about how things are going in a second to everybody.
Pro tip: Make information visible for everyone on your team and display data that will help the team in delivering quality and will involve the whole company.
8. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking occurs all the time and companies present for stop but multitasking also reduces productivity and the quality of the result. When a developer begins working on a task and must take a break to do anything else before returning to the original activity, he will lose all of the time spent learning the software.
To do: Limit the work in progress for all team members and be vigilant that the developer doesn't get overloaded walking on several projects at the same time.
Pro tips: It is a good way to limit the work in progress and focus on finishing work and not starting new projects.
If you manage to apply the agile testing best practices in your project you will see benefits at a very low cost. There is nothing complicated if you apply these practices with your team.