Defect Management for Scrum Teams
Includes easy to use metrics for managing defects
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On to this week’s question!
Q: How can we reduce the defect leakage with best practices as testers always complain that they are getting less time to do the testing? Having done RCA and found out that devs are taking much time to understand and write the code, How can we accelerate defect-fixing throughput? What Metrics can be used? Also how to handle spillover of partial user story where developers want to take credit for the partial work done?
Thanks a lot for reaching out with your question.
In Agile, we're always looking to get better at what we do, and your question hits right at the heart of this goal.
You've asked about:
speeding up fixing bugs,
making sure our testers have enough time,
choosing the right ways to track our progress, and
dealing with tasks that we can't finish on time.
These are really important things to think about in any Agile team.
I can tell from your question that you're dealing with a common challenge that many Scrum teams face - managing time and work more effectively, especially when it comes to handling bugs and maintaining quality.
Let’s first break down your question into smaller parts.
Then we'll discuss each part in a straightforward manner that is easy to understand and implement.
It's not just about finding quick solutions but also improving the process in the long run.
So, let's take a closer look at each of these points and explore some practical measures you can take together with your team to overcome these challenges.
To arrange these points in a logical order that facilitates easy explanation and a smooth flow, I will start by addressing the foundational issues first and then move toward more specific solutions.
I will do this in the following order:
Understanding Development Delays
Improving Communication Between Developers and Testers:
Giving Testers Enough Time
Making Defect Fixing Faster
Choosing the Right Metrics
Dealing with Unfinished Work
Defect Management in Scrum teams can be a complicated subject. Nonetheless, it does cover all of the above pain points.
Let's take a closer look at each of these points and discuss some practical solutions.
Understanding & Addressing Development Delays
What’s taking them long?
That’s the big question. Why our development work sometimes takes longer than we expect?
Are the tasks too hard?
Do they need more help or better tools?
This is the first thing we'll look at. Once we know what the problems are, we can start fixing them.
Understanding Development Delays
Here are some things we should think about:
Longer Duration for Completion: The team found that the task took longer to complete than initially estimated, possibly due to underestimating its complexity or overestimating its capacity.
Incorrect Prioritization: A different story took more time than anticipated, leaving less time for this one. This could be due to unexpected complexities or changes in priorities.
Waiting for External Information: The team had to wait for external information or inputs, which were not provided in time, delaying the progress of the story.
Scope and Requirement Challenges: The scope of the story expanded unexpectedly (scope creep), or there were issues with the clarity and interpretation of requirements.
Dependency Delays: Dependencies on other teams or external vendors were not resolved in time, hindering progress.
Technical and Resource Challenges: Encountered technical difficulties such as development environment issues, tooling problems, or critical bugs, compounded by the unavailability of key team members due to illness, leave, or other commitments.
Communication Issues: Inadequate communication within the team or with stakeholders led to misunderstandings and delays.
Root Cause Analysis
Now, let's think about how we can find out which of these things is causing delays in our team.
You can use methods like the "5 Whys," where you ask "why" repeatedly until you reach the root cause of an issue. Other methods include:
Current Reality Tree (CRT)
Each of these methods can provide valuable insights and help in uncovering the underlying causes of issues in your Scrum process that are causing the delays.
Addressing Development Delays
Once you have “a” reason (there could be other reasons than the ones listed above), label it as one of the 2 categories below:
Internal Reason: Incompletion due to the team's mistake or oversight
External Reason: Incompletion due to external reasons not under the team's control