Using a Pseudouser to Act as a Traffic Cop in Agile Projects

September 11th, 2018 by inflectra

During his work assisting our clients with their agile transformations, Dr. Sriram Rajagopalan has found a best practice to be the use of a "Traffic Cop" pseudo user to better manage the flow of work items in a project and/or sprint.


Frequently, organizations use a Test Lead or a QA manager who manages the workload among the various testers. This practice is also seen in an intermediate person assigning tasks to various members. Assigning a test directly a test set or test run or a task directly to a named individual loses this visibility and creates resource imbalance.


One approach I have found effective is to use an intermediate traffic cop approach using the concept of a "pseudouser". Tests or tasks can then be assigned to the pseudouser. The person taking the role of the pseudouser can then access Spira and manage the work queue accordingly. The pseudouser is a role taken on by the person(s) managing the work queue for tasks, test case, or test set. This can also be extended to requirement and incident management.

The Steps to implement the Psuedouser are:

  1. Setup the email to be used for the
    • Work within the IT department to ensure that you can the email or email distribution for multiple users. (
  2. Setup the user
    • Go to Administration section
    • Select View / Edit Users on the User section
    • Click on “+Add” user button
    • Fill all the details including the password
    • Add the with the role of a manager in the selected project

NOTE: LDAP integration may not be possible as the is a non-living entity and is a role assumed by one or more people in the organization. So, has to be provided manually.

  1. Put together a simple statement of procedure if multiple users take on managing the queue

Some ideas to think through here are the following:

  • Creation and maintenance of the password according to the company security policy
  • Distribution of the password when changed
  • Person who will act as the traffic cop based on timezone or location
  • Transition plan for vacation and holiday period for the person who will be unavailable
  • Adding comments when artifact is assigned to others
  • Meeting to arbitrate resource assignments
  1. Add the user to the specific projects
    • Go to Administration section
    • Select View / Edit users on the User section
    • Identify the pseudouser
    • Click on edit

  • Under the project membership section, click on “Add” and add the specific projects (you can also associate role if different role is needed for each project).
  • Click on Save to ensure that user-project mapping is saved.

  1. Inform the users of the pseudouser and associate the appropriate artifacts to the pseudouser. 


The end. 

 The blog is written by Inflectra's agile transformation partner Dr. Sriram Rajagopalan

best practice pseudouser spira sriram rajagopalan agile