October 4th: Risk Based Testing - Pragmatic Implementation In an Agile Group

Presented by Geoffrey Morris

The practice of Risk Based Testing is more of an attitude than a prescriptive process. As defined in Wikipedia, "Risk-based testing (RBT) is a type of software testing that functions as an organizational principle used to prioritize the tests of features and functions in software, based on the risk of failure, the function of their importance and likelihood or impact of failure."

This is a very useful approach to ensuring quality when it is clear that there are not enough Testers to keep up with the Developers. It also encourages the entire group to look at its decisions differently, with the possibility that they can have useful discussions across all roles, technical all the way out to the business stakeholders.

This talk will outline how it is being implemented in an agile development group that was used to "cowboy practices" (there's even a 50-gallon hat that offenders have to wear), and will consist of observations supplemented with little stories. All will tie back to various sources of gospel about this subject. We will also discuss scenarios where RBT just doesn't work.

Geoffrey Morris

Geoff Morris is a 29 year veteran of software engineering, developing products and data center services. He spent his first ten years wearing many hats in a successful startup where almost every possible mistake was made and then overcome. He has subsequently used his hard-learned lessons to set up and refine QA practices in other startups and major corporations, create guidance to help System Integrators with their consulting practices, and adapt fundamental QA principles to successfully compliment various Agile team structures without drag on their velocity.

Never one to stop learning, he's recently created a brand new QA team within a small, agile group in Avanade that builds internal products to support their Managed Services offerings. Other than CSPO and an ITIL Fundamentals certifications, he is virtually uncertified and self-educated, soaking up the wisdom of others around him. He figures it's a good time to start spreading what he's learned.