May 7th, 2020 by inflectra
It was only about six weeks ago that we wrote our first article on TeleTesting, our suggestions for dealing with the sudden move to teleworking and distributed agile teams, and how to ensure that high-quality, well tested software is still released. It seems like an age since that article was released, with changes in lifestyles and working patterns that will probably persist for most of this year. In this article we check in to see how it has been going.
We started having daily virtual "standup" team meetings and weekly all-hands meetings for the whole company. We have found that this has actually increased the feeling of being "one company", whereas before those working outside of our main offices always felt like 'second class' citizens. We have continued to use company chat-tools such as Google Chat and Spira Instant Messenger where everyone writes down their daily tasks, but we found that some teams liked having both a daily chat message and a video call where we could discuss what was posted.
We have found these work pretty well and we're mostly using Google Hangouts for audio/video, SpiraPlan for tracking project activities and Google Docs for capturing random, ad-hoc meeting minutes. We may move these into SpiraPlan in the future, but for now we keep SpiraPlan for our items of record and action items from the meeting, and mainly use Docs for notes.
This has been very smooth, and by being careful to put all tasks that need to be done in SpiraPlan and not relying on Chat messages, we have managed to avoid the temptation to simply work on the last task someone mentioned. We have found that chat can be used in concert with the built-in comments tracking for getting feedback in real-time on a task, but that anything need to be remembered, should be in SpiraPlan. We are considering adding enhanced integration between Google Suites and SpiraPlan based on some of our experiences. So that will benefit us as well as the wider Inflectra community.
We have not made as much progress here as we would have liked, but we plan on increasing our use of Rapise for test automation and process automation of some of our "boring" maintenance tasks.
In addition to employee care packages, donations to favorite charities, and other small tokens to make people feel connected and included, we have started hosting a weekly Friday Afternoon Happy Hour broadcast with colleagues and friends in the industry - dubbed #TipsyTesting, we look forward to having a drink and an interesting (but casual) chat about testing, leadership, and of course libations each week.