I started a new job a few months ago as a scrum master.
The team was and still is having problems completing their tasks during the sprint.
Initially the problems seemed to be tasks that were too big and there were some blockers early on in the development process. As these problems were solved the percentage of tasks in the Testing column at the end of the sprint kept going up and up. While the done column didn't move much at all.
There are two developers for each tester. Which is more testers than my previous team, but I am not sure how it compares to the industry average.
I asked how the team could help the testers. I was told the developers weren't testing the changes before passing it to the tester. So we tightened up the pretesting quantity gates. Now not only do changes need to pass code review by another developer the developers also have to demo the code to the testers before the testers test it.
The percentage of tasks in the testing column went up again. Now it is more than 80% of tasks by the end of the sprint.
I suggested that the developers and testers pair test the tasks combining the pretest demo and testing. But the testers don't trust any testing done in the development environment and they won't let the changes into the testing environment without a pretest demo. And the suggestion that the developers and testers test in both environments in quick succession is popular with no-one.
I have been talking the lead tester and the challenges they are experiencing seem significant, however I keep getting the feeling I'm missing something. I feel as if I am asking the wrong questions.
I think I need to talk to someone lower on the totem pole, someone less invested in the status quo. Smaller, more concrete, subtler questions maybe during one of those pretesting demos. I'll do that next week.
Also the complaints about lack of developer testing are louder.
My feeling is that only a few tasks are getting bounced back, but those few are causing disproportional pain to both developers and testers. Also much of the time the problem is not the task bounced back, but some other task in the testing queue. My feeling is the problems will get worse the longer the testing queue gets.
But that is my feeling. It would be nice to have some concrete numbers. With my previous team I would open up JIRA reports and I'd get some idea about what might be causing the problem. With this team JIRA reports is giving me garbage. They are saying we are getting no work done at all which is not quite true. I'd like to get the percentage of tasks reopened after testing and the percentage of time in testing, it looks like I will have to dig into JQL as the standard reports are giving me nothing.
What am I doing wrong? What am I missing?
My previous team was more cross functional. With this team I am not sure how to even begin to move them in that direction. Any suggestions in that direction are shot down immediately.