Thursday, July 10, 2008

More questions, again

Reading the agile-testing list recently, I came up with a few questions that I have seen a few answers to, but would like to figure out a few more details on.

How do people out there handle "documentation"? "Requirements"? We have user story cards, and we all recognize that these cards don't have the necessary detail. We do try to have the conversations that the user story cards should necessitate as well. The success varies, but still, there are details associated with a card that we still don't do a very good job of documenting.

We have struggled with where to put this info. We are all .NET, running TFS. We have the Cochango Scrum for TFS framework that sits on top of TFS, but we aren't very good about using it. It contains Product backlog items, Sprint backlog items, bugs, imepdiments, etc ..... The team just hasn't been very good about actually putting stuff into it.

2 sprints ago, we tried a wiki page. One guy spent a bunch of time documenting everything he could as the 'power of 3' meetings occurred at the beginning of the sprint. Then, nobody touched them again.

We have remote employees, and they tend to be impacted the most, especially remote testers. They get notification that a user story is code complete, and then they tend to come to me and say "I don't know where to even start with this story" (yes, they should have been involved from the beginning .... baby steps).

So, how are other people handling documenting the info for a user story?


Lisa said...

I know you're looking for more than just my idea on it! But can you ask your team this question at your next retrospective? Brainstorm how you might solve this? Let's say you decide to document with test cases on a wiki, or with executable tests wherever they live. Put whatever "start" you come up with on a Big Visible Chart, and talk about it every day in the standup. If the requirements still don't get documented, get the team together and come up with plan B.

We're not always great at keeping our requirements up to date, but we do have executable tests, which to me are the ultimate documentation because you can see the results.

dawn said...

Thank you for continuing to follow and for suggesting answers to my questions. I really do appreciate your feedback.

And of course, I have my own response, and it starts with "But what if ..."?

I *feel like* we've done exactly what you have suggested. After all, it makes perfect sense. But what if, the *team* decides on something, and then simply doesn't do it. What if they then agree to Plan B, and then simply don't do it? What if they try Plans C, D, E, F, G, A, A, A, A, A, A, A, and still ... simply don't do it?

I suppose this feels like my underlying frustration, and I am not sure how to solve it. I can say that I have said the same thing at every retrospective since, at least, January.

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