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QA Bottleneck

Have you been on an agile team and heard "Why is QA taking so long?" or "When will this ticket be tested?" or "Can you finish testing this faster than scoped?".

These teams are all under tight deadlines to produce production ready code yesterday, but are feeling the pains of waterfall days. Why do so many teams find themselves in this predicament? And how do they become faster, but still produce quality results.

Every team is unique in circumstance, but there are usually 3 main factors that are causing teams to feel the stress of the QA bottleneck:

  1. Outnumbered

Agile teams comprised of a Product Owner, Developers, Scrum Master, and QA member on a good day should be at a 3:1 ratio with Developers to QA member. Unfortunately, most teams veer towards 4,5, or even 6:1 ratio making it an extremely daunting task for 1 QA member to keep up, let alone thrive. It is best practice to check and see at the end of each sprint how many tickets are being carried over in the testing phase to see what capacity the QA member is capable of and hire up when appropriate.

2. Accounting for test effort

When teams are in grooming, planning, pointing whatever you want to call it, the team should be very mindful that most tasks are going to require some level of test effort by QA, Developers, Product Owner etc. to test the software. It is important that these tickets are pointed appropriately or more tickets generated to account for the test effort. When teams cruise past this step they find that a 3 or 5 point ticket turned into an 8 because of the testing challenges it faced.

3. Automation

Teams that have little to no automation of core functionality are at the mercy of manual human checks. These regression cycles can get very time consuming depending on the complexity of the software. Even a simple task from development may take a half day to test, but the regression cycle of existing functionality is 2-3 days. It is vital to allot time in each sprint to build out your automation framework. This will help to alleviate the need for human regression testing going forward.

Hope this article helped to shine some light on challenges teams are facing.

For more information on how PanOptic can help remove your QA bottleneck please reach out below:

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