Test-First is a built-in quality practice from eXtreme programming (XP) that emphasized building tests before writing code. After observing software team practicing agile struggle with completing stories consistently and try to incorporate test driven development (TDD) into the development cycle, I knew something was missing.
Allow me to share with you the new paradigm of first test your understanding of what is being asked before writing software. I call it Test-First Then Code. The practice is very simple but the outcomes are powerful and drive quality. This five step approach assists teams to obtain greater confidence to complete work successfully.
The team in partnership with the Product Owner (PO) and Scrum Master can use Test-First Then-Code during grooming, sprint planning, or other convenient opportunities to obtain context, clarity, and constraint awareness. The facilitation is driven by the software teams and not the Scrum Master. This is a one- to two-hour session that is broken into 15-minute time-box increments. In a one-hour session you can analyze and evaluate four user stories. In a two-hours session you get through about eight user stories. The goal is to ensure each team member understands the context (who, what, and why), clarity of the acceptance criteria, and can identify constraints. This is an opportunity to Grok each User Story completely.
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Produced by Dr. Dave Cornelius