A Testers Guide To the Galaxy

A Testers Guide To the Galaxy

Who am I to write this blog?

I've been in the testing game for app. 12 years now and in the agile game for more then 14 years, started out as a part time tester in internal test projects, moved on to a role as full time tester doing automation, took my ISEB foundation, moved on the consulting world, now as test coordinator, became part of an agile project, added certified SCRUM Master to my CV, got my ISTQB ATM exam, moved on to role as Test Manager. Recently I have moved more and more into the agile game, adding CAT Certified Agile Tester, ISTQB CTFL Agile Tester Extension and SAFe Agilist to the list of certifications. So now I act more as a trainer (CAT, ISTQB CTFL & CTFL AT) and agile coach!

I simply want to share my thoughts on agile and testing and all thats connected with it.
Feel free to comment on my thoughts!

AgileTestingDays day 2 - Highlights

ConferencesPosted by Søren Wassard Thu, November 13, 2014 11:05:10

Simply the best key ever…

Yesterday Lisa and Janet gave a good keynote, but todays keynote by Joe Justice from Scrum Inc. (Twitter: @JoeJustice0, @ScrumInc) was amazing!

Joe is the inventor of XM. Isn’t that a Citroën from the eighties you may ask? Well, yes, but it is also the abbreviation for eXtreme Manufactoring, taking Scrum from software development to hardware manufacturing. He is also the founder of the car company Wikispeed.

The initial purpose of Wikispeed was to win the X Prize Challenge, a competition to build a road safe car that can run 100 Mpg or in the European consumption standard; 1,5 liters of fuel per 100 km!

So how do you do that? Well, you start by creating the user story:

As a car manufacturer
I would like to build a car
So that I can win the X Prize Challenge

And then you start building a car using scrum and XP and very important, you implement Test First!

Did he win? No, but came into a 10th place by building a car in Joes garage!

That impressed quite a few people and XM was born.

XM has now been implemented by Joe and his team at customers like; Lockhead-Martin, Boeing, John Deere, X-box, HP, TomTom.

Joe gave an example of how one of his customers, John Deere, after 16 months performed 7.2 times better than before they implemented XM! All employees are also happier than before XM (Scrum) and work less hours.

So Scrum is not limited to software development!

By the way, Scrum Inc. has gathered metrics regarding performane and team size and found that a size of 4,6 persons (yes, that is an average) performs the best!

But Scrum can be used in other areas as well, for example education. A new school projects EduScrum has emerged. It seems that the students learn faster and get better grades! #eduscrum – check it out!!!!

It also seems that the financial world has got their eyes opened for Scrum. Pictet is a privately held bank which demands from its clients to deposit a minimum of 75.000.000 Euro in order to open an account in the bank, so people with accounts here are powerful people. They have decided to create a Scrum Fond who will only invest in companies which successful run Scrum. The reason? Because Joe proved to them that the risk is much less, and the profit higher than with companies run traditionally!

The whole point is that by going with Scrum and doing test first, we know where we are heading, can change as things change around us and thereby deliver faster, better, cheaper!

So people; Go spread the word – be Agile Evangelists!!

So, I was really looking forward to being a part of this, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that car!

But where is the car??

The car, the Wikispeed car, would come in late, very late, which meant I had to change my plan, but unfortunately the session I’d liked to go to were full, as in people were standing up outside the open door trying to catch a glimpse of what was going on inside.

So I ended up going to other less crowded sessions which unfortunately didn’t leave much of an impression.

Second keynote

Insights from happy change agents

Alexander Schwartz and Fanny Pittack

You go to a conference, attend a course, get an idea, and now that must be implemented, because you think it is amazingly great….

But, how did your team, your colleagues feel about that change? Did they embrace the change? Or did they on the contrary go against it?
What could you have done to implement the change easier?
There is not one answer, but these advices are worth considering;

- Talk it through with your team beforehand!
- Make sure to adapt your ideas to the context in which it must be implemented

Both advices point to the fact that it is much easier to achieve a goal if you work together, if you have a common goal, and agree on how to get there!

So the takeaways are:
- Try it, do not avoid changes
- Listen to feedback and yourself
- Learn!
- Forget about it
- Try again

Every change is a leap of faith!

After lunch I thought that I was going to do some Black Ops testing, but then finally, yes, the Wikispeed car arrived. In order to get the build started we had to get the car of the truck and into the lobby – in parts!

So the professional racing crew from Team Wikispeed.de startet, and with help from a us delegates, we managed to get the car disassembled and carried into the lobby in approximately an hour

And then the event started – first sprint started at 16:00. Up to 25 persons including the 4 guys from Team Wikispeed.de was to form 5 teams with 5 persons at the maximum. As there was only 4 professional mechanics the question was raised who had the most car building experience from the remaining persons, and it turned out to yours truly – yes – I can now put yet another area of expertise to my CV; Car Building Expert ;O)

Joe Justice gave an introduction, teams picked a Product Owner and a Scrum Master and then the Product Owner ran off and picked a story from the back log.

Now the whole exercise was about how to do construction, Scrum style. The expert on each team explained what had to be done in order to complete the story, team decided how to divide the work, Scrum Master facilitated (got tools, parts, etc.) based on the needs of the team. This was the sprint planning. As a sprint was roughly 30 minutes it took approximately 2 minutes to do the planning, and then we “sprinted”, fulfilled the picked up user story. It quickly turned out that there were dependencies, and the scrum masters did scrum of scrums to mitigate these dependencies in order for all to reach the goals.

After the sprint a short retrospective was held, and the next 25 people were going to build in the next sprint.

4 sprints later a car, or at least a rolling chassis with a body, should be done.

There were also a number of requirements, which basically added up to the fact that the car ultimately should conform to German race car standards as this car ultimately will run on the Nürnburg Ring. The fact that these requirements existed was not highlighted that clearly, so yes, it did lead to errors.

One requirement was that all bolts should have just the length needed for 2 washers and a locknut to fit.

Now, when the car was taken apart most bolts for the suspension was kept in place, so when the reassembly started, the bolts which were initially used were simply reused.

As some of the nuts were placed inside the frame of the chassis it wasn’t possible to see if we met the requirement for the bolts, it turned out, we didn’t L

So as we started out on sprint 2 we had to take the suspension apart again and start over, but it quite fast became clear that the bolts were all 5 mm short of meeting the requirements. So we spiked, tried out different solutions, shorter bolts, way longer bolts, but failed, we could not meet the requirement.

Joe took a C(3?)PO decision and decided to go with the “almost long enough” bolts for sprint 3 in order for the car to get done at all.

And finally after a very long (1½ hour) 4th sprint it was done! The car was build, using a few subject matter experts and a lot of willing hands, and working agile! eXtreme Manufacturing at its best!


It was tremendous fun, THE best agile exercises I’ve ever participated in!!

Some fun facts about the car; Wikispeed.de bought the rolling chassis. They are going to rebuild it, make it race legal, add a BMW M3 race engine to it, and the goal is that within 2 years they are able to drive it in an endurance race on the Nürnburg Ring!!! You can follow the team at www.wikispeed.de

eXtreme Manufacturing rocks!!!





  • Comments(0)//tg2g.wassard.eu/#post8