Scrum: From Estimates To Done
by James Rosko
Software Developers and Quality Assurance are sometimes pitted against each other when giving Level-of-Effort estimates. The winner is usually the individual with the strongest personality -- not really a way to give consistent or accurate team estimates.
The way a Scrum team solves the Dev vs. QA effort estimate problem is by incorporating both the Dev and QA estimates in a single Story size. Scrum prescribes Devs and QA to be on the same team, working on the same Story at the same time, and sharing a common Definition of Done (DoD).
I was on a team that went as far as putting the DoD as the first thing you see on the Backlog tool. It was even on a large poster when you walked into the office. Below is an example of a DoD.
DoD -- A user story is Done when:
- All acceptance criteria are met and accepted by the Product Owner
- All acceptance criteria are met and accepted by QA
- 80% of code is JUnit tested
- All happy-path features have automation tests
I encourage you to come up with your own Definition of Done. Your team can review the DoD during the Sprint retrospective. You will see the story sizes become more accurate, you will have fewer assumptions about what should be accomplished for each story, the end product will be more consistent, and, frankly, the Devs and QA will get along better.