When a process is brand new and not bound by time or resources, it will lead to the initiation of tasks or objectives to reach the goal in an inefficient manner. For example, you need to bake a cake, you go to the store and buy the ingredients. You get back home and then you remember that you’ve forgotten a key ingredients, so you go back to the store and finally can start baking the cake.
An entry criteria is a checklist of requirements that must be completed before moving on to the next task or process. In the cake baking example above, in our future bakes we can make it a point that we must have the complete list of ingredients before getting to the shop to avoid having to go back and forth. The development team needs to know and understand when it is suitable to carry out a process and at what point it is ‘done.
A very recent experience
Here is a very simplified development process
Planning -> Development -> Code Review -> Testing -> UAT -> Release
Recently, we’ve had an unexpected ticket to be done in the sprint to be done for the client as soon as possible. The tester was still focused on testing a ticket at hand and suddenly he gets told that he needs to start testing something. A new feature was done by the developer, not that big of an addition but still warranted testing. The developer and the product manager talks to the tester about the update and what needs to be tested. Whilst testing, the code of the ticket was still being reviewed. Normally, a code review needs to be done before testing but with the mission of trying to get this ticket out as soon as possible, testing needed to start alongside code review.
This is not the best of practices. However, we need to take into account the purpose of the team of adding value to the business. This is all well and good but when these sort of things happen, but the team needs to ask questions on why the change of priorities and let them know how it’s affecting the sprint. How can we improve on the next sprint? This question should always be on your mind.
Here are the benefits of an an entry criteria
- Organisation - assurance that no processes are skipped
- Avoid human rrror - we are only human and sometimes we forget stuff, so having a list of what we need to do prevents us from making mistakes we’ve already made
Here is an example set of criteria that can be used before the tester starts the formal test process
- Requirements agreed upon and updated
- Code Review is complete
- Code Review findings and ‘things to look out for’ and reported to the tester
- Test Documentation is complete
- Test scripts are ready
- Automated regression tests have ran successfully
- Test summary report on automated tests are delivered
- Test summary report on manual testing is delivered
- Environment has been set up
- QA Demo on environment server is complete