TFS – How to know when to start a test task?

Last post 11:35 am April 11, 2014
by Sukrut Wagh
4 replies
06:39 pm March 27, 2014

We are using TFS. Our PBI’s on the Sprint Backlog have Development and Test tasks. What is a best practice to know when a Test task can start? Of course we have the Daily Scrum, but is there a way to register this in TFS? We can link the Test tasks to Development task but that is hard to use.

06:12 am March 28, 2014

I would ALWAYS but always set up a physical scrum board. We are currently using JIRA and I’ve setup a physical board in the middle of the room. Yes we have to administrate it twice but a physical is for my opinion an absolute must.
Why? The team members can see (in 1 look) how the sprint is progressing and the biggest advantage is that when a Develop is done with his task, he has to physically walk up to the board and move some post-its. When that people stands up and walk, everyone in the room sees it and a certain interaction comes to life.

10:48 pm March 30, 2014

TFS is still at an early stage. Many things does not work as we would expect it to do. ;-( I would set up a notification from the Administration whenever a Work Item is updated. But that would clutter the email inbox.

11:13 pm March 30, 2014

I agree with Chee-Hong

Go by the Agile manifesto "Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools". Assuming your team is collocated I don't mind standing up and saying that PBI/Task XXX is done and is available for testing.


11:35 am April 11, 2014

Agreed - Email notifications are fine but could be overwhelming at times.
We have a defined TFS work item workflow. WI transitions from 'In Progress' to 'QE Ready' state when it's ready for testing.
During the daily scrum, team members are notified that a 'QA' build will be available today covering WI's (list of WI#).
QA then goes to TFS to filter 'QE Ready' WI# & continue from there.

We have started following TDD & BDD (JBehave), enabling automated tests as part of DOD. The Dev team gets involved in creating the scenarios for stories. As such, test cases are developed as part of the development & everyone is aware of the status of completeness of an WI. Such collaboration within dev team members while performing BDD has helped several teams to: be on the same page (have an unified understanding of a story/WI), developing tests along with coding (Creating test cases don't have to wait until WI is developed) amongst many other benefits.