The 3 Amigos Method, When Dev, PO and QA Come Together!
In recent years, Web applications have taken an increasingly important place and have become ubiquitous in our daily lives. You can’t improvise being a website developer or tester. Designing a good website is complex, requires precise knowledge and a team of professionals.
You’ve probably accessed a website and left immediately because its performance or design was poor. A bad site leads to monetary losses, bad reviews, or worse yet, damages your reputation and forces users to move to competitors. It therefore remains essential to have a stable, robust, user-friendly and quality Web application that reflects your company efficiently and increases user confidence, leading to more business.
If you’re a QA, haven’t you ever had to validate “rush” stories and fixes when there was little or no information and explanation? Have you ever been told not to disturb developers or other team members for questions when asked to test an item that you found illogical, contradictory, or even impossible to understand? Haven’t you ever had to submit your questions by email and have them answered too late?
If you’re a developer, haven’t you ever had to code a story when what to do was unclear? Have you ever had to start a job over because it wasn’t what the client wanted?
In short, these bad practices have highly harmful effects on the final quality of products. When I started at Logient was when I had the great pleasure of discovering the “3 amigos” method in agile development. In the following article, I will explain how this practice can significantly increase the efficiency of teams and the quality of IT projects.
What Is the “3 Amigos” Practice?
A “3 amigos” is a meeting between three entities of an agile team, lasting an average of 30 to 60 minutes which ensures, before, during and after the development (tests) that the story or the fix to be developed and validated is clear and that it responds well to the needs of users and clients. The meeting is also used to discuss, among other things, the conditions for success and objectives, as well as how to achieve them.
Who Takes Part in a “3 Amigos” Meeting?
1 – The product owner (PO) or the business analyst (BA):
the one with the best understanding of the requirements and who contributes to the rest of the team all the elements concerning the requirements and acceptance criteria.
2 – The developer(s):
the one who translates the requirements into code and provides members with essential information about it.
3 – The tester or the quality assurance (QA) analyst:
the one who validates whether the translation is fluid and meets the requirements and who leads the discussions and clarifications concerning the tests to be carried out (scenarios and test cases).
Note: it isn’t unusual for the designer to join “3 amigos” meetings as the 4th entity for some projects.
What Is the Purpose of “3 Amigos” Meetings?
The goal of “3 amigos” meetings is to create a common understanding of a feature, patch, or whatever work needs to be done and to allow members to discuss and find a way to tackle this.
The “3 amigos” strategy can have a dramatic impact on both individual and collective team effectiveness by increasing agility, adaptability and innovation.
This practice, although at first glance long and expensive, remains one of the best ways to increase the performance of a team by making it more operational and efficient, by improving collaboration and discussions among members.
It’s always cheaper to get it right from the first iteration than to do it over!
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the “3 Amigos” Practice?
Advantages of the Work Method
- Communicate information about the story or patch to participants so everyone is on the same page
- Quickly identify, discuss, clarify questions, confusions and misunderstandings
- Define feature requirements in as much detail as possible through stakeholder discussions and ensuring everyone’s input is heard while jointly developing how the problem should be resolved and what the desired outcome should be
- Ensure that the stories to be developed meet the needs of users and clients and that the objectives, conditions for success and how to achieve these objectives are clear and well defined
- Allow a common understanding of the functionality or the work to be done with a list of criteria that must be met for the development to be considered “done”
- Brainstorm and find one or more ideas on the best way to do the job Define an approximate list of stories and tasks to be carried out with an estimate of the complexity of each item
- Help prevent domain domination; the “3 amigos” help communication between disciplines
- Clarify the tests to be performed and establish a good test plan, all ensuring stability and reliability
- Make teams more agile and efficient and enable faster and better product delivery
Disadvantages of the “3 Amigos” Method
- Add an additional meeting when we often already have a lot
- Having to find a time slot when the three entities are available for a meeting, which can sometimes slow down the passage to tests
- Need a structure so that discussions don’t get too drawn out and take place on schedule
A well-known quote from Isaac Newton says: “When two forces unite, their efficiency is twofold.” For my part, I really believe that the effectiveness of a development team triples when members join forces through the practice of “3 amigos” meeting for Web development!
Learn more about our work methods and methodologies or contact us without delay for support in implementing your project best practices!
Written by Sophie Gaudreau, QA analysis at Logient.