It is so important and crucial for a tester to be involved early in the feature development process to avoid any ambiguity and assumptions.
Every team follows different ways of working depending on their context. I have worked on few teams where we followed this approach.
These are the 3 things a tester can collaborate on the team to involve early :
#1: 3 Amigos
3 amigos helps in building shared understanding and the outcome is mostly deriving acceptance criteria. It helps in having an understanding of the feature, context and business value.
Tester being in 3 amigos can help in bringing up the questions like
How can the feature impact existing functionality.
Do we need any threat modelling to be done for this story.
Are there any dependancies on other teams that should be considered.
What could possible go wrong
#2: Kick Off's
Tester can involve during kick off's of the story which is done before a developer or pair of deverlopers start working on a feature/story. It gives an opportunity for developers to ask any questions around implementation and testers can ask few questions like -
Are we planning to have unit and integration for this story
Are we going to update existing UI automated tests
Are we going to add any logs or alerts?
Will there be any dependencies to release this to prod
#3: Desk Checks
Testers can pair with the developers to test the feature and developers can give a little demo to Business Analysts, Product Owner, any developers who are interested to see features implemented by other pair of developers. It helps the testers to see the feature and also helps in getting involved early and also helps in getting any clarifications aroud assumptions and if it meets the business value and requirements
As I mentioned earlier, every team follows different approaches depending on their teams context.
I wanted to share how a tester can involve early from my experience of working with few teams which definitely helped me in shifting to the left.