Track Talk F7

Ready for Test – A Symptom of a Poor Quality Culture

Thomas Shipley

10:00-10:45 CEST Friday 10th June

The Ready for Test column on our boards feels safe, but is it? A well-known column with a clear purpose, at least that is how it might appear. But what if this column is doing more harm than good in your team?

Ideas such as Shift Left and Continuous Integration are increasingly popular. This popularity stems from early feedback, sharing knowledge and project roles between team members. Yet Agile software teams continue to treat Quality Assurance (QA) concerns as a separate stage owned by different people. QA team members provide feedback after the task, hoarding knowledge and taking over quality ownership responsibility in the process.

In this talk, I want to convince you that Ready for Test, in QA and other quality-gate columns, do more harm than good. They contribute to a culture of separation between QAs and other team members. This separation causes quality to decrease. There is a better way.

By the end of this talk, you will be able to start a discussion with your team on quality ownership, where the whole team supports each other towards quality deliverables. Promoting a different quality culture of testing together, often and early in contrast to a separate stage owned by a specific group. This support will enable you to explore charting a new path and definition of your QA role. A role that can strengthen your team by bringing more opportunities to improve project quality than feature verification alone permits you to do. These opportunities include:

  • Coaching your team in testing techniques.
  • Liaising with other QA’s and teams within your organisation to learn from and support each other.
  • Enabling better decision making by collating information related to project quality from internal and external sources.
  • Planning testing strategy to improve the approach to testing and quality management over time.


This expanded QA role can be challenging and frustrating when you are not sure where to start. Join me and let me share my experiences, the mistakes I made and how I learnt from them to discover new ideas and strategies to support teams and their quality of delivery. Let me help you rise to this challenge!