Imagine that you're a tester in an agile stand up meeting with your development team. You have all gathered around your visual management board, each person is sharing an update and it's your turn to speak.
"Yesterday I tested story 19574 and didn't find any bugs." you say, moving that story to Done.
"Today I'm just going to test story 19572." you continue, moving that story to Doing.
"There's nothing blocking me at the moment, so that's it." you finish.
Now consider whether, based on the information you've just provided, anyone in your development team actually understands what you've done and what you're planning to do.
If you were to ask them, they might say that you're testing. You are the tester. You just told them you were testing. They're not stupid.
But what exactly does that mean? Have you been confirming acceptance criteria are met? Have you been investigating how this story handles error scenarios? Have you tested from the perspective of each of the business user personas? Have you tried some simple penetration tests to determine whether this story has covered the basics of security?
We can make testing more visible through the use of visual planning. Illustrating our thinking through visual test models or visual test ideas is a great way to engage our team in conversations about testing. But we can also make our testing more visible by being transparent in our stand ups.
Start making a conscious effort to be more specific. Take the opportunity in your stand up to verbally create an image in someones mind of the activities that you're undertaking. While you may not have time to tell the whole story, you can certainly share the blurb rather than the title alone.
Without this detail there's a good chance that what you do is a little bit of a mystery to your team. And if they don't really understand what you're doing, then it may be difficult for them to identify opportunities to collaborate with you or help to anticipate problems that could prevent you from completing a testing task.
Making testing visible is not just about changing the documents you produce. Take the time to prepare for your stand up so that you can briefly explain what you are actually doing. I'm sure that you are not "just testing".