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Why Your Scrum Board Might Be Killing Your Team’s Productivity

As software developers and testers continually seek to optimise Agile development processes, one seemingly counter-intuitive strategy is gaining ground: removing the ‘In Test’ column from the Scrum board. This strategy aims to shift the traditional testing mindset and improve the efficiency of Scrum-based software development lifecycle.

Breaking Down Barriers in Agile Development

In traditional Agile development, the ‘In Test’ column on a Scrum board signifies a phase where developers pass on their work to testers for quality assurance. However, this approach can inadvertently foster a silo mentality, where testing is seen as a distinct phase separate from software development. The result? Reduced communication, collaboration, and collective ownership.

“Removing the ‘In Test’ column from your Scrum board is not about downplaying the importance of testing. Rather, it’s about integrating software testing more closely into the software development lifecycle, encouraging collaboration, boosting efficiency, and reinforcing the Agile principle of shared responsibility for quality.”

Advantages of Removing the ‘In Test’ Column

By removing the ‘In Test’ column, we promote a more integrated approach to software development and testing. Here’s why this approach can benefit your team:

  1. Promotes Collective Ownership: Without a designated ‘In Test’ phase, all team members take collective responsibility for the quality of the software, encouraging stronger cooperation and a shared sense of ownership.
  2. Boosts Efficiency: Eliminating this column can streamline the workflow, reducing waiting times and helping to deliver software features more quickly – a key tenet of Agile development and continuous delivery.
  3. Fosters a Testing Mindset: This approach encourages developers to consider testing as an integral part of their work, fostering a culture where quality assurance is everybody’s business, not just the testers.

Implementing the Change in Your Scrum Workflow

Are you considering removing the ‘In Test’ column from your Scrum board? Here are some steps to guide you:

  1. Communicate the Change: Discuss the benefits and potential challenges with your team. Ensure that all members understand the rationale behind the decision and how it will impact their work.
  2. Adjust the Workflow: Update your Scrum board to reflect the new workflow. Make sure it accurately represents your team’s process.
  3. Encourage Collaboration: Foster a culture of collaboration and collective ownership. Implement practices such as pair programming and shared code reviews to encourage team members to work together on tasks.

Considering making the switch? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below. Let’s learn from each other and continue to improve our Agile development and software testing practices!

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