Quality Management - Testing in the World of Scrum and Agile Product Development


these should have the following characteristics 3:

  • Product Backlog [3]
    • The owner of the items in the backlog is known
    • The items in the product backlog have been prioritized by the product owner and have been assigned relative commercial or operational business value using story points.
  • Sprint Backlog 3
    • Items in the sprint backlog have been drawn from the product backlog, as depicted in Figure 4.0
    • The items in the sprint backlog have been prioritized by the sprint team and have been assigned an estimate to complete using story points, ideal days, or hours.
    • The items in the sprint backlog have been completed, based on the definition of done per story, and this cycle repeats until all points for the story are earned and/or the Sprint ends, as depicted in Figure 5.0
  • Product Increment 3
    • A fully tested demo-able or production ready build (product increment) has been delivered and all acceptance tested have been verified and validated by the Product Owner



Figure 4.0 – Sprint Planning


Figure 5.0 – Sprint Workflow


Additionally, Quality Management plays an integral role in the practices of Concurrent Testing, specifically Test Driven Development , as depicted in Figure 6.0, and Continuous Integration .


Figure 6.0 – Test Driven Development Cycle

A QC analyst helps define done by co-developing tests with the team, which anybody on the team can run, including the QC analyst. The QC analyst also helps determine how best to implement that test (manual or automated, which tools, etc.)

As a result of putting into practice Concurrent Testing and Continuous Integration aQC analyst verifies and validates:


  1. The desired system-software is broken down into stories which are part of what it means to deliver the desired system-software.
  2. For each named story, there are one or more automated acceptance tests which, when they work, will show that the story in question is implemented.
  3. At every moment in the project it is known how many stories are passing all their acceptance tests.




When being agile Quality Management should be inherent or self-evident in self-directing and self-organizing agile teams, as the team iteratively and incrementally validates and verifies the team is doing the right things, doing those things right and adapting every step of the way; while delivering commercial or operational value incrementally.

[1] Kaizen (??, Japanese for "change for the better" or "improvement"; the common English usage is "continual improvement"). In the context of this article, kaizen refers to a workplace 'quality' strategy and is often associated with the Toyota Production System and related to various quality-control systems, including methods of W. Edwards Deming.

[2] The preceding items should not be interpreted as sequential in nature.


[3] This is not a complete list of characteristics.


About the Author The what, why, and how of agile/lean product (system-software) development and delivery is not mine or one persons vision alone; to become reality it needs to be a "shared" vision.

My passion is to serve, in any way, to evolve this "shared" vision; helping folks apply system-thinking and deal with the emotional and creative tension of moving from the individual’s, team's or organization's current state to their "shared" vision of "being" agile.


"Do more listening and less talking while we iteratively and incrementally plan a little, develop and deliver, check/study our value-added and adapt"


Russell can be reached at [email protected]

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