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Agile Quality: The Changing Role of Quality Professionals

Quality is an inherent aspect of true agile software development, and it is one of the criteria that you should look for in an agile initiative. Agile quality strategies include taking a test-driven approach to development where we write a unit test before we write the domain code to fulfill that unit test, the end result being that we have a regression unit test suite at all times. We also consider acceptance tests as first class requirements artifact, not only promoting regular stakeholder validation of our work but also their active inclusion in the modeling effort itself. We refactor our source code and database schema to keep our work at the highest possible quality at all times. The challenge for quality professionals is that agilists work in a highly collaborative and evolutionary (iterative and incremental) manner, often requiring traditional quality professionals to change their approach.

DownloadQuality in an Agile World ( 117K PDF ), an article that I wrote for the September 2005 issue of Software Quality Professional describing the changing role of quality in agile software development.

I have a much more detailed, and up-to-date, article entitled Agile Testing and Quality Strategies: Discipline Over Rhetoric that you should find interesting.

Suggested Reading

This book, Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Approach to Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW) – Second Edition, is an indispensable guide for agile coaches and practitioners. It overviews key aspects of the Disciplined Agile® (DA™) tool kit. Hundreds of organizations around the world have already benefited from DA, which is the only comprehensive tool kit available for guidance on building high-performance agile teams and optimizing your WoW. As a hybrid of the leading agile, lean, and traditional approaches, DA provides hundreds of strategies to help you make better decisions within your agile teams, balancing self-organization with the realities and constraints of your unique enterprise context.