More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team

Janet Gregory / Lisa Crispin  
Total pages
October 2014
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More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team
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Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin pioneered the agile testing discipline with their previous work, Agile Testing. Now, in More Agile Testing, they reflect on all they’ve learned since. They address crucial emerging issues, share evolved agile practices, and cover key issues agile testers have asked to learn more about.

Packed with new examples from real teams, this insightful guide offers detailed information about adapting agile testing for your environment; learning from experience and continually improving your test processes; scaling agile testing across teams; and overcoming the pitfalls of automated testing. You’ll find brand-new coverage of agile testing for the enterprise, distributed teams, mobile/embedded systems, regulated environments, data warehouse/BI systems, and DevOps practices.

You’ll come away understanding

  • How to clarify testing activities within the team
  • Ways to collaborate with business experts to identify valuable features and deliver the right capabilities
  • How to design automated tests for superior reliability and easier maintenance
  • How agile team members can improve and expand their testing skills
  • How to plan “just enough,” balancing small increments with larger feature sets and the entire system
  • How to use testing to identify and mitigate risks associated with your current agile processes and to prevent defects
  • How to address challenges within your product or organisational context
  • How to perform exploratory testing using “personas” and “tours”
  • Exploratory testing approaches that engage the whole team, using test charters with session- and thread-based techniques
  • How to bring new agile testers up to speed quickly–without overwhelming them


  • Codifies the latest thinking on testing for agile projects and builds upon the feedback received from the authors' previous book
  • Readers will come away from this book understanding how to get testers engaged in the agile development process
  • Shows where testers and QA managers fit into the equation, and how the development and testing teams can work hand-in-hand on an agile project
  • Another addition to the highly successful Mike Cohn Signature Series

New to this Edition

This new book follows up the authors' exceptionally successful first book, Agile Testing. It contains even more expert advice on agile testing, based on what they have learned in nearly five years since their first book was published.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Elisabeth Hendrickson xvii

Foreword by Johanna Rothman xix

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxix

About the Authors xxxiii

About the Contributors xxxv

Part I: Introduction 1

Chapter 1: How Agile Testing Has Evolved 3

Summary 6

Chapter 2: The Importance of Organizational Culture 7

Investing Time 8

The Importance of a Learning Culture 12

Fostering a Learning Culture 13

Transparency and Feedback Loops 15

Educating the Organization 17

Managing Testers 19

Summary 20

Part II: Learning for Better Testing 21

Chapter 3: Roles and Competencies 23

Competencies versus Roles 24

T-Shaped Skill Set 28

Generalizing Specialists 33

Hiring the Right People 36

Onboarding Testers 37

Summary 39

Chapter 4: Thinking Skills for Testing 41

Facilitating 42

Solving Problems 43

Giving and Receiving Feedback 45

Learning the Business Domain 46

Coaching and Listening Skills 48

Thinking Differently 49

Organizing 51

Collaborating 52

Summary 53

Chapter 5: Technical Awareness 55

Guiding Development with Examples 55

Automation and Coding Skills 56

General Technical Skills 59

Development Environments 59

Test Environments 60

Continuous Integration and Source Code Control Systems 62

Testing Quality Attributes 65

Test Design Techniques 67

Summary 67

Chapter 6: How to Learn 69

Learning Styles 69

Learning Resources 72

Time for Learning 77

Helping Others Learn 79

Summary 83

Part III: Planning–So You Don’t Forget the Big Picture 85

Chapter 7: Levels of Precision for Planning 87

Different Points of View 87

Planning for Regression Testing 97

Visualize What You Are Testing 98

Summary 100

Chapter 8: Using Models to Help Plan 101

Agile Testing Quadrants 101

Challenging the Quadrants 108

Using Other Influences for Planning 113

Planning for Test Automation 115

Summary 116

Part IV: Testing Business Value 119

Chapter 9: Are We Building the Right Thing? 121

Start with “Why” 121

Tools for Customer Engagement 123

More Tools or Techniques for Exploring Early 134

Invest to Build the Right Thing 134

Summary 135

Chapter 10: The Expanding Tester’s Mindset: Is This My Job? 137

Whose Job Is This Anyway? 137

Take the Initiative 142

Summary 144

Chapter 11: Getting Examples 145

The Power of Using Examples 145

Guiding Development with Examples 148

Where to Get Examples 155

Benefits of Using Examples 157

Potential Pitfalls of Using Examples 159

The Mechanics of Using Examples to Guide Coding 162

Summary 162

Part V: Investigative Testing 163

Chapter 12: Exploratory Testing 165

Creating Test Charters 168

Generating Test Charter Ideas 171

Managing Test Charters 176

Exploring in Groups 183

Recording Results for Exploratory Test Sessions 185

Where Exploratory Testing Fits into Agile Testing 188

Summary 190

Chapter 13: Other Types of Testing 191

So Many Testing Needs 192

Concurrency Testing 194

Internationalization and Localization 195

Regression Testing Challenges 200

User Acceptance Testing 201

A/B Testing 203

User Experience Testing 205

Summary 207

Part VI: Test Automation 209

Chapter 14: Technical Debt in Testing 211

Make It Visible 212

Work on the Biggest Problem–and Get the Whole Team Involved 217

Summary 220

Chapter 15: Pyramids of Automation 223

The Original Pyramid 223

Alternate Forms of the Pyramid 224

The Dangers of Putting Off Test Automation 227

Using the Pyramid to Show Different Dimensions 231

Summary 235

Chapter 16: Test Automation Design Patterns and Approaches 237

Involve the Whole Team 238

Starting Off Right 239

Design Principles and Patterns 240

Test Maintenance 248

Summary 251

Chapter 17: Selecting Test Automation Solutions 253

Solutions for Teams in Transition 253

Meeting New Automation Challenges with the Whole Team 258

Achieving Team Consensus for Automation Solutions 260

How Much Automation Is Enough? 262

Collaborative Solutions for Choosing Tools 264

Scaling Automation to Large Organizations 264

Other Automation Considerations 268

Summary 269

Part VII: What Is Your Context? 271

Chapter 18: Agile Testing in the Enterprise 275

What Do We Mean by “Enterprise”? 275

“Scaling” Agile Testing 276

Coordinating Multiple Teams 283

Consistent Tooling 289

Managing Dependencies 292

Advantages of Reaching Out beyond the Delivery Team 296

Summary 297

Chapter 19: Agile Testing on Distributed Teams 299

Why Not Colocate? 301

Common Challenges 302

Strategies for Coping 308

Offshore Testing 312

Tool Ideas for Distributed Teams 319

Summary 322

Chapter 20: Agile Testing for Mobile and Embedded Systems 325

Similar, Yet Different 326

Testing Is Critical 328

Agile Approaches 329

Summary 337

Chapter 21: Agile Testing in Regulated Environments 339

The “Lack of Documentation” Myth 339

Agile and Compliance 340

Summary 346

Chapter 22: Agile Testing for Data Warehouses and Business Intelligence Systems 347

What Is Unique about Testing BI/DW? 348

Using Agile Principles 351

Data–the Critical Asset 352

Big Data 357

Summary 360

Chapter 23: Testing and DevOps 361

A Short Introduction to DevOps 361

DevOps and Quality 363

How Testers Add DevOps Value 371

Summary 376

Part VIII: Agile Testing in Practice 379

Chapter 24: Visualize Your Testing 381

Communicating the Importance of Testing 381

Visualize for Continuous Improvement 386

Visibility into Tests and Test Results 390

Summary 392

Chapter 25: Putting It All Together 393

Confidence-Building Practices 394

Create a Shared Vision 402

Summary 405

Appendix A: Page Objects in Practice: Examples 407

An Example with Selenium 2–WebDriver 407

Using the PageFactory Class 410

Appendix B: Provocation Starters 413

Glossary 415

References 423

Bibliography 435

Index 459


Janet Gregory is an agile testing coach and process consultant with DragonFire Inc. She is coauthor with Lisa Crispin of Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley, 2009) and More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team (Addison-Wesley, 2015). She is also a contributor to 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know . Janet specializes in showing agile teams how testers can add value in areas beyond critiquing the product, for example, guiding development with business-facing tests. Janet works with teams to transition to agile development and teaches agile testing courses and tutorials worldwide. She contributes articles to publications such as Better Software, Software Test & Performance Magazine, and Agile Journal and enjoys sharing her experiences at conferences and user group meetings around the world. For more about Janet’s work and her blog, visit You can also follow her on Twitter: @janetgregoryca.

Lisa Crispin is the coauthor with Janet Gregory of Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley, 2009) and More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team (Addison-Wesley,2015); she is also coauthor with Tip House of Extreme Testing (Addison-Wesley, 2002), and a contributor to Experiences of Test Automation by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster (Addison-Wesley, 2011) and Beautiful Testing (O’Reilly, 2009). Lisa was honored by her peers who voted her the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person at Agile Testing Days 2012. Lisa enjoys working as a tester with an awesome agile team. She shares her experiences via writing, presenting, teaching, and participating in agile testing communities around the world. For more about Lisa’s work, visit, and follow @lisacrispin onTwitter.

Reader Review(s)

Praise for More Agile Testing


“I love this book. It will help to create really great testers. That’s a good thing, since anyone who reads this will want to have one on their team.”

Liz Keogh, agile coach, Lunivore Limited


“This book will change your thinking and move your focus from tests to testing. Yes, it is not about the result, but about the activity!”

–Kenji Hiranabe, cofounder of Astah and CEO, Change Vision, Inc.


“To my mind, agile development is about learning–that one word captures the true spirit of what agile is all about. When I had the chance to read through their new book, I could only say, ‘Wow! Janet and Lisa have done themselves proud.’ This is not a book about testing; this is a book about learning. Their clear explanations are accompanied by great true stories and an impressive list of books, articles, and other resources. Those of us who like learning, who love to dig for more information, can rejoice! I know you’re always looking for something interesting and useful; I can guarantee that you will find it here!”

–Linda Rising, coauthor of Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas


“Janet and Lisa’s first book, Agile Testing, drew some general principles that are still important today but left me wondering, ‘how?’ In this second book, they adapt those principles to today’s development landscape–with mobile, DevOps, and cloud-based applications delivered in increasingly compressed release cycles. Readers get specific testing tools for the mind along with new practices and commentary to accelerate learning. Read it today.”

–Matt Heusser, Managing Principal, Excelon Development


“An excellent guide for your team’s agile journey, full of resources to help you with every kind of testing challenge you might meet along the way. Janet and Lisa share a wealth of experience with personal stories about how they helped agile teams figure out how to get value from testing. I really like how the book is filled with techniques explained by leading industry practitioners who’ve pioneered them in their own organizations.”

–Rachel Davies, agile coach, unruly and coauthor of Agile Coaching


“Let me net this out for you: agile quality and testing is hard to get right. It’s nuanced, context-based, and not for the faint of heart. In order to effectively balance it, you need hard-earned, pragmatic, real-world advice. This book has it–not only from Janet and Lisa, but also from forty additional expert agile practitioners. Get it and learn how to effectively drive quality into your agile products and across your entire organization.”

–Bob Galen, Principal Consultant, R Galen Consulting Group, and Author of Agile Reflections and Scrum Product Ownership


“Janet and Lisa have done it again. They’ve combined pragmatic life experience with ample storytelling to help people take their agile testing to the next level.”

–Jonathan Rasmusson, author of Agile Samurai: How Masters Deliver Great Software


“In this sequel to their excellent first book, Janet and Lisa have embraced the maturity of agile adoption and the variety of domains in which agile approaches are now being applied. In More Agile Testing they have distilled the experiences of experts working in different agile organizations and combined them with their own insights into a set of invaluable lessons for agile practitioners. Structured around a range of essential areas for software professionals to consider, the book examines what we have learned about applying agile, as its popularity has grown, and about software testing in the process. There is something for everyone here, not only software testers, but individuals in any business role or domain with an interest in delivering quality in an agile context.”

–Adam Knight, Director of QA, RainStor


“This book has it all: practical advice and stories from the trenches. Whether you’ve never heard of agile or you think you’re an expert, there is something here that will help you out. Jump around in the book and try a few things; I promise you will be a better tester and developer for it.”

–Samantha Laing, agile coach and trainer, Growing Agile


More Agile Testing is a great collection of stories and ideas that can help you improve not just how you test, but the products you build and the way you work. What I love most about the book is how easy many of the ideas are to try. If one message is clear, it is that regardless of your context and challenges, there are things you can try to improve. Get started today with something small, and nothing will be impossible.”

–Karen Greaves, agile coach and trainer, Growing Agile


More Agile Testing is an extensive compilation of experiences, stories, and examples from practitioners who work with testing in agile environments around the world. It covers a broad spectrum, from organizational and hiring challenges, test techniques and practices, to automation guidance. The diversity of the content makes it a great cookbook for anyone in software development who is passionate about improving their work and wants to produce quality software.”

–Sigurdur Birgisson, quality assistance engineer, Atlassian