Conducting Agile Volleyballs

Agile Volleyballs refer to the act of validating a story implementation by a business analyst/product owner before testing. This is a non-standard agile/scrum ceremony but it is worth practicing as the ROI is quite high. They might also be called as a BA volleyball or just “volleyball”.

What is it?

Who needs to be in it?

Pre-requisites

Time

Kicking-off

The BA should be in full control of the interactions with the application. One common mistake is to allow the developers or the QAs to demo the story for the BA. This is a big no-no as it does not allow the BA to get a feel for the implementation.

Use the application as a novice user would, without looking at the acceptance criteria. This allows the BA to experience the usability of the story implementation itself as well as giving them feedback on the functionality. Make notes on improvements and changes as needed. Next, check the implementation while going step by step through the acceptance criteria. This will give better feedback to the developers and QAs on where changes will be needed if any. Validate the assumptions of the story also and add to it if there are any new ones.

Usually, there will be some changes. Most of these will be trivial (minor UI tweaks). With a good pair of developers, the volleyball should be a cinch, provided the acceptance criteria are consistent within themselves and with the rest of the application. There might be times where the acceptance criteria itself needs to be tweaked. The BA can then take a call on the future of the story implementation along with the rest of the team.

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