How do I scale BDD across the organization?
BDD is a simple set of practices but difficult to implement
  July 29, 2020

As part of our research into running our upcoming BDD for Busy People class on September 7th, we asked what questions needed answered for this class to be useful. One question which came through was "How do I scale BDD across the enterprise?"

I asked Ryan Marsh - co-author and trainer of the class to give an answer. Here's what he had to say. 

There are three steps to scaling BDD across the organization: 

  1. Create awareness around the problem BDD solves
  2. Use training to create a base level of skill and soften the impact of change 
  3. Follow up and measure 

Create Awareness

BDD solves a common list of problems affecting nearly all software teams. You must make teams aware of the pain they are experiencing on a regular basis which they may have become used to. 
  1. Lack of adequate understanding of the scope and customer needs. This leads to missed edge cases and ultimately rework, defects, failed sprints, anxiety-inducing sprint demos, and variability in team throughput.
  2. Lack of trustworthy requirements documentation, especially as an application ages. This leads to confusion, extra labor before and after the sprint, defects, knowledge in the heads of a few, and even re-writes or reverse engineering.
  3. Lack of customer-focused test suite. In spite of QA’s best efforts, there is often a gap in test suites. This leads to regressions, low/no information to product owners on the business impact of test failures, or even testing and work on no-value non-requirements.

Use Training

Whole team training, such as our BDD Kickstart, can provide a shared baseline of skills on the team that will lead to success. Our training builds a whole team experience that emphasizes everyone’s role. We resolve concerns in a group setting and create excitement around the benefits of BDD. 

Follow Up and Measure

As with any large initiative, it is important to follow up with teams and plot their progress along leading measures. Some teams have more challenging domains than others. This is normal and we offer tailored coaching to help those teams overcome inertia and tough challenges. 

Join Ryan on September 7th for our BDD for Busy People course, a class designed specifically for the business manager in mind.