Integration testing at scaled agile projects

On 25 May the Software-Centric Systems Conference [SC]2 conference was held on the High-tech campus in Eindhoven. During this event I hosted an interactive session where we investigated the relationship between the lever of integration and the time to market. Most organizations aim for Continues Integration and deployment, since they want to deliver their products fast. It takes a lot from organizations to get there (slide 4). To give an example, CI/CD assumes that you integrate frequently. But at what level do organizations integrate, and how do they test it. The graph on slide 9 shows that increasing the system (e.g. from Units tot Systems) results in less frequent integration, because it becomes harder to test the integration.

Making this clear to management enables to manage expectations or helps to target your next improvements. See below the annotated slides:

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Free download of “Bepaal je koers, trends en toekomst in Testen”

Bepaal je koers

After the workshop Survival Techniques for Testers- Beyond the T-shape that I gave last week on the TestNet event, I got a lot of requests for the jubilee book that we (Huib Schoots, Hans van Loenhoud, Derk-Jan de Grood,  Anko Tijman, Pepijn Vorst, Andreas Prins, Jeroen Rosink en Ard Kramer) wrote a few years ago.
In my workshop I referred to the book, because it’s still relevant today. I notice that there is a growing group of testers that want (or need) to re-orientate themselves. I have good news and bad news for those that came to our boot to ask for a copy of the book.

The bad news first, we ran out of copies.
The good news is, you can download the epub (in dutch) for free, just click the button below:

download button

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Scaling Agile with Less

Previously I posted a link to the ASK matrix. This Matrix compares various agile frameworks. I revisited the site and noticed two things.

  1. It has been updated
  2. The content of the matrix means much more to me, after I had the Less  and Nexus training.

The matrix comes alive much more now, since I start to understand Agile Scaling better and better. And the true meaning behind the short descriptions in the matrix are much clearer than they were before.

If you want to know more about Scaling Agile, and live in the Netherlands, the Less training I had might be a good one for you also. Valori and Casario Ramos (from Agilix) are co-operating to deliver the Less training in may and september this year. More for information and registration see the LESS training page.

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Service Virtualization: build your own stub on the TAD

I am glad to announce that Maarten Metselaar and I will collaborate in an interactive workshop on the test automation day. Our session will deal with Service Virtualization.

An important subject since organisations are speeding up, striving for CI more and more. Fast delivery is cool, but it implies automated functional tests that can be run without dependencies on adjacent systems. You cannot test effectively when other systems in the chain are not available, not yet updated or expensive to use. Service virtualization enables to stub these systems in an effective manner and boosts the flexibility of your test execution. In this interactive session we’ll explain the principles and you’ll build your own stub, it’s easily done.

The test automation day will be held in Rotterdam on 23 June, our session starts at 15:50 h. We hope to see you there… You can get detailed info by downloading the conference flyer or on the website.

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Survival techniques for testers, beyond the T-shape tester (part 2)

Last Wednesday (11 May) I gave a tutorial workshop at the testnet spring event. This was the similar workshop that Jan Jaap Cannegieter (see this earlier post for the results of this workshop) and I gave for the EuroSTAR conference last year.  In this wisdom of the crowd session with 60+ test professionals we searched for and defined our future. Main question throughout the workshop was:

How do we survive as a tester and what skills and knowledge de we need to develop.

We used the T-shaped tester (Rob Lambert, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory) that combines need for general knowledge with advanced test skills to be successful. But we thought it was time to expand the model. Therefore we introduced the π-shaped professional. The π-shaped tester extends his global knowledge (development, project management, agile etc.) and test expertise with yet another specialism to stay in demand, e.g. security, test automation, requirements.

In the workshop we did a brainstorm what other specialism will be in future demand. We were astonished by the fast amount of suggestions provided by the group. See the both flip overs they covered below. next we did some dot-voting (see the stickers on the pictures below) to invest how popular the various specialisms were. Most dots go to the items that were rated by the group as a wise investment for the future.

IMG_3675 IMG_3676
Click the photo to enlarge

The most popular specialism were taken as a starting point for a further investigation. Below you’ll find the skills for each leg of the π as determined by the participants.

TestAutomation (group 1 and 2)


IMG_3685 IMG_3686

Interface testing/e2e testing

 IMG_3687 IMG_3689





Riskmanagement /Business analysis (these items were combined by the group)


Non Functional testing


Domain knowledge

IMG_3694 IMG_3695

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Test Automation Day – 23 June 2016

On 23 June the WTC in Rotterdam will host the 6th edition of the Test Automation Day. This unique conference is dedicated to test automation and aims to share insights and experiences of TA practitioners.

All aspects of testing need to continuously improve in quality, speed and efficiency, and this includes test automation. Despite new technologies, strategies and tools, Test Automation is too often not delivering the expected results. Why? Test Automation is about dealing with continuous change while at the same time keeping the balance between the professional, the tool and the process. But how is this best achieved? Find out on June 23rd during the International Platform for IT Management and IT professionals!

You can get detailed info by downloading the conference flyer or on the website.

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[SC]² – the Software-Centric Systems Conference

I am proud to announce I’ll be hosting an interactive session on the Software-Centric Systems Conference [SC]². This conference  facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experiences in the crucial and strategic discipline of complex software development and to provide insight in emerging trends. I will be talking about test strategies in scaled agile projects and encourage the participants to exchange their vision, ideas and experiences with testing the system integration.

The [SC]² is hosted at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven on may 25. Check out the website for the program and registration. I hope to meet you there.


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State of Testing 2016 Report

State of Testing 2016 Report is out now! The report is based upon a survey done by over a 1,000 professionals from 61 countries! A lot is happening in the testing profession, as tea-time with testers state in their mail:” Many changes are taking place around us. Technology is advancing at a head-spinning pace. The accelerating pace of development is making our work more challenging than ever. And overall we are seeing a more serious approach towards quality and testing in our work-ecosystem.”

But if you want more information, drill down to the details by reading the State of testing report yourself…. learn e.g.

  • what testers are doing beside checking the code,
  • what skills they think they need and
  • what tools they use
  • how they keep up to date with all that is happening in IT and testing.
  • and many more..

You can read it here: State of Testing 2016 Report

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Improving application security, where to start?

For my column G(r)ood testing 21: Improving application security, where to start? I interviewed Tim Hemel, co-author of the Framework Secure Software that has been launched by the Secure Software foundation. During the interview we discussed security testing and how testers can get started with improving application security, and we talked about the framework. We shot some great footage, but as you can see in the video below…something went wrong… you better read the column!

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Big Room Scrum battle (serious game with 400 participants)

January this year Valori organized a serious game for over 400 people. During the Scrum Battle participants experience the agile way of working. This video gives a impression of the simulation game that was held for over 400 people. They filled up the main hall of the old factory we used.  The interview I give is in Dutch, but have I added English subtitles (be sure to turn them on by clicking the icon in your youtube player).

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 10.22.58

I was proud to be the game master and work with such a big group. it was great fun to see so many people getting engaged and enthusiastic about SCRUM.


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Pi Day and IT professionals

Today it is 3-14, also known as π-day. As wikipedia states: Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day date format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π.

A good moment to asses your skills. What profile can you adopt as a tester to meet the ever growing expectations and demands?  In IT we often talk about T-shape professional

The T-shaped tester (by Rob Lambert, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory) combines need for general knowledge with advanced test skills to be successful. But we thought it was time to expand the model. Therefore we introduced the π-shaped professional. The π-shaped tester extends his global knowledge (development, project management, agile etc.) and test expertise with yet another specialism to stay in demand, e.g. security, test automation, requirements.

Jan Jaap and I gave a tutorial for the EuroSTAR conference. We will be hosting the tutorial again on the testnet spring event on may 11th. But isn’t today a good day to ask yourself: What specialism do I want to add to my profile?

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Applying Agile beyond Software development

My latest issue of G(r)ood Testing is inspired by a blog of Mike Cohn from Mountain Goat Software. In his blog Mike investigates the application of agile outside the world of the software development. I like to contribute with two examples of my own. I sometimes use agile methods in my private live, e.g. when doing home improvements and when planning the activities during the holiday. Both cases exemplify that Agile helps create transparency, enables us to be adaptive and helps us to organise ourselves. 

You can watch the video introduction below or go directly to the column on the EuroSTAR community pages: Applying Agile beyond Software development 

Posted in Agile, Agile in de Echte Wereld, G(r)ood testing, SCRUM, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scaling Agile using subway mapping

cover16022015-04-30 13.08.24

Informatie Magazine is a Dutch magazine on Information technology describing the latest developments in IT. The first issue of 2016 has just been released and deals with DevOps and related trends. I’m proud to announce that we, Valori, contributed with an interesting article on Scaling Agile and Subway mapping. The article is a collaboration between Anko Tijman, Cesario Ramos and myself. It is a follow-up on the workshop we ran for Testnet.

The article describes the axes along which you can scale agile in your organisation. There are many frameworks (like SAFe, Less and Nexus) that can help you to do so, but our suggestion is a simple and effective way to start aligning and planning your teams effort using the subway map.

You can read the full article (in dutch) here: Scaling Agile met de subway map
Note: we provide a Less training in april: certified large scale scrum practitioner training

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Big Room Scrum Battle

Early January Valori hosted a big room serious game. This time we organised our Scrum Battle, agile simulation game with 44 teams. Altogether we played the game with 450+ participants.  The mood was great, the participants enthusiastic and I love the photos that were taken.Fotocollage SCRUMbattle 400+By organising this event we introduced a lot of people to the Scrum way working. And I spoke a lot of participants that learned a lot and enjoyed the collaboration with their team.

Getting curious? You can find more information about the Scrum Battle here:

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Join the Product Owner Game on 7 March

On 7 March 2016 Valori will once more organise the Product Owner Game. This serious game provides an interactive learning experience for Product Owners, Stakeholders, Business managers and Developers. During the training they will experience the ins and outs of the Product Owner role. Game. While working on a realistic case you learn the two faces of the PO, who is facing both the business and the development teams. Learn in a relaxed and informal setting how you can translate a product vision into an Epic planning, learn how to prioritize and schedule the release and work together with the SCRUM teams. Finally you learn how to evaluate the business release against the product vision. See the video for an impression of the previous game we gave:

The training will be held in Nieuwgein, the Valori Office and you can be there.
Registration can be done on the PO game information site (in Dutch).

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