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How to Integrate QA into the Sprint

Last Updated : 17 Jan, 2024
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The Quality Assurance (QA) activities shall be integrated into the sprint. With all the quality assurance aspects, we have to check if the developed project meets the quality requirements. In this article, we would like to highlight some critical factors in integrating Quality Assurance within an Agile Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) model and Scrum framework.

Integrate QA into Sprint

Below, we are discussing some steps for integrating QA into Sprint.

1. Verify Understanding of Agile Principles

  1. Agile methodology focuses on delivering a working product as soon as possible by shortening the time between concept and launch. It emphasizes iterative development, collaboration, and adaptation.
  2. Ensure all team members involved in Testing and QA have familiarity with these principles especially relating to Agile Manifesto and Scrum Framework, which can be helpful throughout the development process.
  3. Before starting any project using the Agile SDLC model and Scrum framework, educate your teams about processes/responsibilities, so they fully understand their roles from start until the end!

2. Ensure the Quality of the Stories in the Sprint

  1. Each story in the backlog should be based on a clear business requirement otherwise, the iterative process will be a never-ending story.
  2. Each story or need in the sprint backlog should go through an in-depth refinement process.
  3. To ensure quality, each story should adhere to the INVEST principles. The acronym INVEST aids in the recall of a commonly acknowledged set of criteria or checklist, for evaluating the quality of a user story. If the story’s structure does not fit one of these criteria, the team may wish to modify it or even explore a rewrite. A good user story should be:
    • I” am independent (of all others).
    • “N” negotiable (no fixed contract for features)
    • “V” aluable (horizontal)
    • “E” stimable (to a reasonable degree)
    • “S” mall (to accommodate an iteration)
    • “T” is stable (in principle, even if there is no test for it yet).

3. Include QA Team in Sprint Planning and Estimation

The persons involved in QA should understand the user stories. The user stories should have a list of tasks containing any activity required for an accepted user story: such as create requirements, create design (if needed), create test cases, prepare test data, execute test cases, create test scripts, update test scenarios, update test cycles and others according to the project.

  1. Break down user stories into technical tasks
  2. Use templates
  3. Use checklists
  4. Revisit your definition of DONE
  5. Clarify the acceptance criteria

4. Ensure that the Acceptance Criteria are clearly defined

Acceptance criteria are a collection of written requirements that ensure all user stories are satisfied and all scenarios are taken into account. Clear guidelines help development teams prevent misunderstanding and misinterpretation concerning a client’s expectations.

It is critical to set comprehensive acceptance criteria for product development. To monitor progress using a consistent approach, testers and developers should precisely outline the intended results.

5. Include QA Team in Story Refinement

The process of improvement, slicing and explaining each user story is known as refinement. A very important step in integrating QA into sprint is the process of the story refinement. Before entering the sprint backlog, each user story should be verified twice for clarity and detail. The QA team should have a clear overview of the requirements and that’s why they have to be part of the refinement meetings to ensure that all requirements are clear.

6. Use a Definition of Done (DoD) for User Stories

Generating the Definition of Done (DoD) for each product increment and user story is one of the important stages in ensuring quality in Scrum. The DoD is a set of criteria used to assess whether a feature or task is finished and ready for delivery. The DoD should be concise, measurable and mutually agreed upon by the Scrum team and the product owner. DoD serves as a checklist that is used to check each User Story for completeness. Some question used for DoD could be:

  1. Code checked-in? Code reviewed?
  2. Code complete?
  3. Code peer reviewed?
  4. Unit tests passed?
  5. Functional tests passed?
  6. Acceptance tests completed?
  7. Product Owner reviewed and accepted?

The DoD assists in aligning the team on quality standards and objectives, as well as avoiding rework and technical debt.

7. Encourage Concurrent Development and Testing

The quality of the user story should be ensured, if the developers are coding and testers are generating and executing test cases for completed features at the same time. Issues discovered by QA testers in relation to a user story should be treated as new tasks. In this way, when the story is finished, it will also be functional.

Quality assurance will be integrated into the sprint because all the steps necessary for ensuring quality will be done until the story is ready for delivery. The team should check if they follow coding and testing guidelines. To be sure that development, quality control and quality assurance processes are done at the same time, the scrum team should be clear about:

  • Strategies for testing
  • Review processes and design
  • Create and review requirements processes.
  • Automate everything that can be automated.
  • Implement continuous delivery, integration and deployment.

8. Improve collaboration and efficiency with the Retrospectives

An Agile Retrospective is a meeting scheduled at the end of each iteration. The team reflects on how to become more effective at regular intervals, then tunes and adapts its behavior accordingly. The agile retrospective is the meeting where the team has complete ownership of the topic and the conclusion and no one dumps anything on them.

Here are some ideas for how you might enhance software quality during your retrospectives:

  1. Prepare the retrospective meeting
  2. Gather data from the retrospective meeting
  3. Generate insights from the retrospective meeting
  4. Create Action Items
  5. Document everything from the retrospective


In the refining meeting, part of the QA activities should be to take into account all the aspects related to the quality of the user stories. The following issues should be discussed:

  1. Verify, if the user story respects INVEST principles.
  2. Verify, the requirements to see if they are clear and understood.
  3. Check if all the requirements have been written down and are written in a proper format.
  4. Analyze the way in which the user story can be tested and write down the observations.
  5. Verify, if there are any additional settings or configurations. Test data required for testing the user story of implementing something
  6. Check all the dependencies (software, coding, and testing).
  7. Verify, if it is clear which platforms should be covered.
  8. Check if the feature is really beneficial for the end user.
  9. Create all possible scenarios that will cover the use point of view.
  10. Verify the acceptance criteria.


Software Quality Assurance is the responsibility of the entire SCRUM team. Quality assurance is a process-oriented activity that should be carefully planned and be part of the continuous improvement process. In order to be sure that the deliverable has good quality, various methodologies, actions and standards must be followed.

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