As we are agile testers we are familiar with the value “Responding to Change over following a plan”. This has not been more true over the past weeks.
I am currently looking at a five-floor building on the opposite side of the street. It has brick stone decorations on each side of the windows, red-yellow-red-yellow-red. The building has two doors which give access to the apartments, one door for the ground floor apartment and the other door for the top three. The top of the building is crowned by a horizontal row of white floral ornaments and a triangular roof. Not to be missed is the gantry sticking out of the very top. In short, I’m working from home because of COVID-19.
What a change from the normal situation. I’m used to being surrounded by colleagues and a team working on a product. I’m used to performing all the tasks a tester does, reading about testing, sharing my knowledge and learning from others. Some of these are difficult to do under the current circumstances. But I make the best of it, we all make the best of it.
Being agile means adapting to a new situation. The assignment my former client gave me required me to look at the broad picture coming from a narrow focus. What started as an assignment to research how the testing of one product could be improved, turned into an assignment to improve testing company-wide.
To adapt successfully I needed to listen to my colleagues. They, my fellow testers, developers, product owners, and scrum masters, had useful ideas on how to improve testing. They decided together which ideas they would act upon, how to evaluate the results and when to evaluate. (Spoiler alert: during the retrospective.) By listening to each other we build trust, support, and engagement. Those are essential to bringing cultural change.
While you are inside, be nice to yourself, be nice to your housemates. Listen to each other’s worries and consider each other’s needs. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep the conversation going at home!