Testing Requirements in Agile

One of the key ways a tester adds value in an agile team is to support the testing of requirements. The requirements usually take the form of epics and user stories. Some teams also create workflows, story maps, etc. to help with the bigger picture. The tester’s role in all this is more than ‘just testing’ and it is more than just the testing of user stories. This tutorial will provide an in-depth coverage of how a tester can maximise their contribution to testing requirements to help deliver value to the customer. Topics covered will include:

  • The role of a tester in relation to communication and collaboration in the team and how this occurs
  • Understanding the big picture so we are not just ‘blinkered’ by stories in our testing
  • Understanding the user story, its purpose, the role of acceptance criteria, requirement versus solution, examples of good and bad stories and criteria to use to evaluate
  • Specific practices to reduce ambiguity and clarify requirements such as the use of examples – preventing defects rather than just detecting them
  • How Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) and Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) help prevent defects. The role of test automation in testing requirements. Practical aspects of the ‘3 amigos’ approach in BDD collaboration
  • How to shorten the feedback loops on defect detection whether you are automation your tests or not and the relationship between tests and examples
  • Testing non-functional requirements like performance and usability
  • Using risk based testing in agile
  • Exploratory testing of requirements using sessions. Exploring at multiple levels from feature/epic to workflow to user story


Exercises and discussion will be used throughout the tutorial to reinforce learning. Participants will leave with the confidence to maximise their contribution to testing requirements having practiced creating good stories, asking good questions, designing good test cases and exploring in a valuable way.

  • Speaker


    Fran O'Hara - Consultant, Inspire Quality Services, Ireland

    Fran has 30 years experience in the software industry having worked in development, test, management and now quality consulting. Fran specialises in pragmatic approaches to lean/agile, quality/testing, and associated practices. For the last 10 years, a key element of his work has been providing agile/lean coaching, training and advisory support to organisations transitioning to agile/Scrum with a particular emphasis on agile testing.

    He is co-organiser of Agile Tour Ireland and a co-founder of the Irish SIG in Software Testing – SoftTest. His tutorial, ‘Metamorphosis – Moving to Agile and Staying Agile’, was voted best tutorial at EuroSTAR 2016 in Stockholm.