Agile Practices Applied to Line Management – Monitor and Control

Having the plan is only partially helpful.  The list of test cases and the expected rate of accomplishment allows us to refine our estimates as we progress through the testing.  We will be in a position to provide the project manager and stakeholders with a better “ETA” (Estimated Time of Arrival) just like the GPS informs us as we progress toward our final destination.

We know must execute to see if the planned rate of accomplishment and expected conclusion date are viable.  We will the monitor and track the progress of the team.  Here is where we take another play from the agile playbook.  Each morning we have a short 15 minute meeting with the verification team members.  Filling a role comparable to a scrum master, we ask:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What do you have planned for today?
  3. What obstacles are you encountering?

Notes are taken especially when it comes to obstacles. We can ill afford to have the work stalled so when obstacles arise, we set about resolving them immediately.  In some instances, the work will be diverted to another set of test cases to be conducted while the obstacle is removed.  In that way we keep the rate of progress going.

At the end of the meeting I prompt all who have not updated the test case tracking sheet to do so.  Specifically, the updates are the number of test cases executed for a specific specification (see the first blog post of this series).

Comparison of Plan to Actual Performance

We now have our desired rate of accomplishment against our actual rate of accomplishment, but we are not finished yet.  This tells us little about the product other than our rate of testing. Check back for the next installment.


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