Leaving breadcrumbs – an Agile Journey Towards Requirement Storytelling

Storytelling is a well-known term in testing as well as in other areas. Coming from a region in Sweden hosting a Nordic storytelling Centre, I was inspired to make storytelling relevant in some projects that we worked on within our company. This presentation is the story of how we increased our quality of delivery when we used the unknown to our advantage, stopped asking our customer for requirements they could not give us and instead started telling their story.

The story I want to tell at EuroStar begins with the basis for our problem – the unknown requirement base and an inexperienced customer – and goes on to tell about how we threw everything we knew out the window and started from scratch, exploring new paths, to deal with that problem. I will explain how these new paths led us to use storytelling as a means to communicate requirements with our customers, and inspired us to break new ground within innovation and automation. And, like in the fairytales, if ours had ended yet, it would have a happy ending!

The details of the story is about how we used agile tools such as constant customer feedback and project retrospects to re-think everything we previously knew, in order to be able to deliver complex systems with a very complex requirement base that was constantly moving. I will talk about how we tried new paths by engaging everyone in our workplace in the quest for great quality, how we left breadcrumbs in the form of scrum boards and knowledge sharing in order to achieve our goal, and how all this brought storytelling onto our table as a means to achieve quality greatness. All this ended up affecting our competence, our team confidence, our quality of delivery and in the end not only our methods but also our tools, which gave us an advantage that could bring us more business. When telling our story, I will highlight some of our ways of thinking to reach this happy ending, and give the audience some key takeaways for better quality of delivery, based on our experience.

The moral of my story is:
Not knowing everything is not necessarily a weakness, nor is it necessarily a strength. Therefore, you must find your way to deal with things the way they are. You must find and walk your own path.

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      Mia Johansson - QA Manager , Data Ductus, Sweden

      I have worked with test since 2001. I have tested, educated customers in the importance of testing, outlining test strategies and acted as Test Manager in all kinds of areas. The last ten years I have worked in agile projects, adapting processes and ways of working within test and verification for complex systems. Since 2015 I am the QA Manager at Data Ductus. I am responsible for test and QA strategies both on a project- and company level and work with customer communication to spread the word on QA. I am also a storyteller, engaged in the local storytelling society.

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