Role of Quality Assurance (Not testing!) in Agile
Mystic last edited by user
Quality Assurance refers to administrative and procedural activities implemented in a quality system so that requirements and goals for a product, service or activity will be fulfilled. It is the systematic measurement, comparison with a standard, monitoring of processes and an associated feedback loop that confers error prevention. This can be contrasted with quality control, which is focused on process output.
You can read the following thread to understand the difference between QA and testing (quality control): What is the difference between "testing" and "quality assurance"?
What I'd like to understand is whether there is a place for QA engineer who is not a tester in Agile/Scrum. Agile is deliberately short on processes and documentation (its even in the manifesto), and that's what QA specialize in. So should there even be a QA engineer in Agile?
I myself am not a QA engineer (I am a test lead), but I have a friend who is, so that's why I am asking.
I will try to answer keeping in mind the job of a QA engineer is defined as "Prevention of faults by inspecting & testing the process" in the linked question.
Agile/Scrum is not per definition short in processes. The team itself should set the process they need to deliver high quality deliverables in each iteration. Testing should be done during the cycle not after the Sprint is finished.
The "Scrum Master" is the one who facilitates this "continuous improvement" process during a Sprint retrospective. From my experience the retrospective leads to improving the (testing) process itself, depending on the need of the team.
The Scrum framework has set boundaries as what is minimal needed from the process, but you are free to add extra steps as they are needed. For example each team uses a different "Definition of Done" to describe their cycle needs.
Having someone in the team with a background in QA is a great plus, but remember a Agile/Scrum team wants each team member to be cross-functional. Thus if you want a pure QA job an Agile/Scrum team might not be the ideal location.