One Sprint from the Perspective of the Quality Assurance Team
Written by Slavko Stasuk, Software Tester @ Runtastic
and Florian Lindorfer, Software Test Manager @ Runtastic
In our last post where we talked about how Quality Assurance works at Runtastic, we went through the journey of a feature being planned, tested and finally released, focusing on the role of QA throughout. With the overall development process covered, we wanted to go one step further now and take a closer look at the day-to-day routine for QA at Runtastic. This post continues the journey by telling you the “behind the scenes” of a regular sprint of a Test Manager.
Every sprint starts with the sprint planning meeting where the squad decides which stories, tasks, improvements, and bugs are going to be included in the upcoming sprint.
Since nearly everything needs to be tested, it is up to the Test Manager to assess the testing effort & complexity for each task. Therefore, it is crucial to plan the sprint with the testing effort in mind so everything developed can be verified in time. Additionally, Test Managers inform the Product Owner about important bugs that would impact our high-quality standards of the product.
One of the main tasks for the Software Test Manager is providing test cases and scenarios for the user stories which have been included in the sprint. These scenarios get further reviewed by Developers and other Test Managers (it’s like a code review). The scenarios are used for test automation, manual testing, and they are the base for our documentation.
A more managerial aspect of a Software Test Manager is scheduling feature tests and smoke tests. Test Managers prepare the test cycles by organizing which test cases need to be covered to ensure the high quality of the changes made. Together with the head of QA, they plan the timeline by looking at our resource allocation.
Additionally, Test Managers are always in close contact with Customer Happiness, and, if necessary, will review user feedback during the sprint. Issues that users are experiencing are reported as bugs. Those issues are investigated in order to find the root cause of the bug. When possible, a workaround is suggested until the root cause can be fixed. And when a fast fix cannot be done, the bug is brought up during a meeting called the bug triage.
Together with the relevant stakeholders, the Test Managers re-evaluate the bugs. They check if the open issues have all the necessary information and are understandable. When everything is clear, the issues can be prioritized and are ready for backlog grooming.
During backlog grooming, the team reviews the items in the backlog. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure the backlog items are written well enough, the necessary information is covered, and edge cases are considered. If this is the case, they are ready for development.
The responsibility of the Software Test Manager is to determine the testing strategy and ask developers about certain edge cases & challenge them if a special test setup is needed.
Since all the work that is done during the sprint needs to be aligned, a couple of meetings are necessary:
- QA Weekly Meeting – In this meeting, the head of QA, Testers, and Test Managers exchange information on a weekly basis. They align the upcoming testing efforts and share their ideas and what they’ve learned.
- UI / UX – QA Meeting – This meeting is scheduled once a sprint to align acceptance testing and the UI / UX review. Additionally, the Designer has the chance to get another opinion on designs and UX.
- Tribe Alignment Meeting – This is a bi-weekly meeting for the alignment between Test Managers within one tribe and the head of QA. In this meeting, the discussion is based on the current and upcoming work, which could affect different squads within the tribe.
At the end of each sprint, the squad reflects on the last iteration and talks about what went well and what should be improved in the next sprint.
The Test Managers tell their experience — from problems with a staging environment, critical bugs found late in the testing process, to long-lasting scenario reviews. In addition to the obstacles, the squad shares positive feedback, such as exceptional teamwork or good collaboration between developers and testers. The main goal is to derive action items from these points to see what can be improved for future sprints.
This is just a brief overview of what a sprint looks like for a Test Manager in a squad. While every sprint is different, they each share the same goal — delivering the best quality to our users.
If we caught your interest in this post and you want to become part of our team here at Runtastic, just check out our job offers.