Lessons learned saying stupid things about agile testing

How fast should you run from a lion when he attacks you? Faster then the slowest one in your group.

The status quo

In many teams when they have their first successful improvements behind their belt the status quo tend to creep in. They all agree everything is going well and there is nothing to improve. To get the discussion going as an Agile Coach I drop some controversial opinions in the group. In the hope to get the discussion going again.

When first improvements are panning out. Management is happy the first deliveries are more regular and even the quality is improving.

My goal is to learn teams that they always should be improving. Never measure yourself to other teams it's not a competition. It's not a competition at not being the loser.

Are testers still needed?

One day when the discussions were moving nowhere I asked the question if testers are still needed. We have automated testing on unit level, on integration level. We have continuous integration. This was a bold statement to get some discussion going.

This was too bold. I questioned the testers role which was not my goal. I wanted to push the discussion further and I wanted to push the testers out of their comfort zone. I wanted to question how they fill in their role. The reasoning was that there is a lot tested manually. Maybe we could improve our workflow and maybe focus more on automating?

Maybe my approach was too aggressive and as Agile Coach I should do or know better.

Final conclusion

Testers are valuable in Scrum Teams there is no question about this. They're experts at this domain and bring a lot of knowledge to the table. But if they test too much manual we should question how to improve this. They should not spend too much time on repeating manual tests. Using their knowledge to improve the test suite or even creating additional tests should be their main goal.

But If I want to push people out of their comfort zone I should rethink my strategy. Testers got angry at me instead of igniting a valuable discussion. So to the testers in my team: "I'm sorry!"