07. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Risk and Business driven Tests

I really like the mindset “no risk, no test”. So, when there isn’t any business risk, there aren't any tests and is it easy to fit testing in a sprint. More realistic do a good risk analysis on your product backlog items before start writing thousands of tests. Also in scrum is risk an important attribute.

The release plan establishes the goal of the release, the highest priority Product Backlog, the major risks, and the overall features and functionality that the release will contain.

Products are built iteratively using Scrum, wherein each Sprint creates an increment of the product, starting with the most valuable and riskiest.

Product Backlog items have the attributes of a description, priority, and estimate. Priority is driven by risk, value, and necessity. There are many techniques for assessing these attributes.

from the scrum guide

Within the TMap test approach product risk analysis is an important technique. Determine risk analyses are part of the proposed activities in the Master Test Plan of TMap: ‘Analysing the product risks’. It not only supports the Product Owner to make the right decisions it also the Team benefits in a later stage, this information is invaluable while defining the right test case design techniques for the Product Backlog Item.

“The focus in product risk analysis is on the product risks, i.e. what is the risk to the organization if the product does not have the expected quality? ”

Having full product risk analysis for every Product Backlog Item during the Release Planning meeting is slightly overdone, but the major risks should be found. Determine product risks at this stage will also provide input for the Definition of Done list.


TMap Product Risk Analyses

Within the Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 Process Template Product Backlog Items are written down in the Work Item Type ‘Product Backlog Item’. This Work Item Type hasn’t got a specific field for risk classifications. Adding a risk field is preferable (TFS Powertools makes this an easy task) so you can query on this property, or you can make the risk analyses a more product generic property.


TFS Scrum Product Backlog Item

The flow with risk analyzing, classification, discussion and test design with the Product Owner can look like the diagram below.


But again most important for fitting testing in a sprint, know the risks use test design techniques to cover the risk and only write useful test cases.

Post partly taken from previous posts:


Past Tips:
01. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint - The Team and Activities
02. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Regression Test Sets
03. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Test Automation
04. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Undone Backlog Item
05. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – No Double, Triple Testing
06. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – PBI Implementation Sequence

Next Tips:
08. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Write Logical Acceptance Tests
09. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Test Tasks on the Board
10. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Done
11. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint - The Customer Test Team
12. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – The Test Branch

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