As a tester, I live on the Storyboard. It’s my go-to page in VersionOne. I use it to keep up with team progress when I’m not in the team room, and I also use it to organize my own work.

As an early bird team member, a lot can happen after I leave for the day. First thing in the morning, I check the Storyboard to see what progressed after I left the day before. At VersionOne, we have a status of ‘Ready for Test’ where developers move workitems so that they can get feedback. The ‘Ready for Test’ column is my personal backlog. Workitems are in priority order, because workitems retain their relative rank when they are moved across the storyboard. I can grab some coffee, pluck the top item off the ‘Ready for Test’ column, move it into the ‘Testing’ column, and start my day.

Once a workitem is in testing, there’s still a lot of back and forth between testers, developers and the product owner. When a workitem is being tested, there’s actually an iterative re-work cycle in progress. For example, I may talk to a developer pair about an issue I found. Together, we’ll call the product owner over to demonstrate the current behavior and ask for clarification of the expected behavior. If the product owner decides a change is warranted, developers will make code changes and I’ll update acceptance tests. While the code changes are taking place, I may move on to the next workitem that’s ‘Ready for Test’. To flag the item undergoing re-work, I’ll create a new blocking issue that summarizes the problem. On the Storyboard, the workitem now has a large ‘Blocked’ indicator. This is my sign that there’s active re-work. Product owners can also quickly see when forward progress may be stalled. When the re-work is complete and the workitem is ready for another look, then the developer pair simply removes the blocking issue, and I’m back in the testing business (happy thoughts!).

I work on multiple projects – we have our core application, numerous integrations, and our reporting application. To get the big picture view of my entire backlog on the Storyboard, I change my selected project to the highest node which includes all of my assigned projects. Seeing everything that’s either waiting for test or in progress lets me know when I need to pull developers into testing activities. Likewise, when the team is focused on a single project, I can change my selection to just that project so I’m not distracted by activity in other projects.

The Storyboard is one of my favorite features in VersionOne. If you’re a tester, give it a whirl!

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