Did you know that 89% are Agile-based or similar development models? This guide will help you understand the Agile testing process, how to implement it, and when to use it.
Introduction to Agile Methodology for Testing
Agile Testing is an integral part of the application lifecycles. It has had a significant effect on software development, quality assurance and testing. It is also widely accepted as a key driver of the delivery high-quality products. This article will take you on a deep dive into Agile testing and show you how it works.
What is Agile Software Development?
It is important to know what Agile development means in order to understand agile testing. It is a broad term that encompasses many practices that are very different from traditional development methods.
Let’s begin by looking at the core principles of agile software development. These are the four core values:
- Instead of focusing on processes and tools, focus on people.
- Working software is far more important than detailed documentation
- More than a fixed contract, it is important to have ongoing collaboration with customers
- Instead of sticking to a plan, be flexible to changes
Agile is a methodology that focuses on adapting to change, as the name suggests. While there are many frameworks that teams could use such as Kanban or Scrum, the core of Agile is a collaborative approach.
Traditional development might divide team members according to the area they are working on and then slowly add parts together to create a finished product. Continuous integration is the key to Agile. The whole team works together and new features are added every step of the way. This creates a totally different software development cycle. Teams need to implement agile testing methods.
Talk to a QA Expert Take a free test.
What is Agile Testing?
Continuous testing is an integral part of agile testing. It’s a philosophy on which Agile Testing operates.
Agile testing is integrated directly in the development process to ensure bugs are detected as soon as possible. Testers can quickly identify and fix problems during the development process so that the product is ready for release.
Traditional Testing Method vs. Agile Software testing
To prevent customers from losing their items, testers try to break it first and fix it later.
The sequence of events is used in traditional waterfall development.
Requirements > System design > Implementation > Integration & Testing > Deployment > Maintenance
Traditional Waterfall Method
This method means that the next step doesn’t begin until all previous steps have been completed. The testing team does not receive the product until later in the development cycle.
This could be a challenge for your software testing staff as bugs that they find at this stage will be hard and expensive to eliminate from the product.
Because there is not much feedback from the other members of the development group (sometimes referred to as the ‘enemy’ or customers), testers who arrive at this point in the process are often unable ask the right questions or perform the right tests.
Wait for the product (or waterfall) to arrive at the assembly line or waterfall. Then, they use a limited set of skills to determine if it should be returned to the previous stage in the development process.
Agile is a continuous testing system. The test team is able to access the code whenever there is a new update. They can then feed back to the developers. These test cycles may also include automated tests and a limited number of end users.
Principles of Agile Testing
Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin have broken down Agile testing into 10 principles in their book. These 10 principles have been widely accepted since their publication as the foundation of Agile testing.
- Continuous feedback. Agile testers don’t just test continuously. They also distribute the results and facilitate feedback from customers to developers to help create a stronger product.
- Deliver value for the customer. This is the second principle. Agile testers aim to provide the best product for their customers.
- Allow face-to-face communication. The role of the Agile tester is to reduce confusion and error by communicating with developers directly. Customers can also communicate with developers directly.
- Be courageous. Developers may be defensive about their work. Agile testers need to fight for the fixes and changes that are needed to meet their goal of providing value for customers.
- Keep things simple. Agile testers live by the maxim that simplicity is the highest level of sophistication. This means that only those necessary tests are performed, and all tests are performed. This applies to the product. It means that the product should be as simple and straightforward as possible, while still delivering maximum value.
- Continuous improvement is a key skill of Agile testers. They are always learning new ways to improve their jobs.
- Be responsive to change. Agile testers are flexible and adaptable, taking in feedback from users and adjusting to changes in product and market.
- You can organize yourself. Agile testers are able to jump in at any stage of the process. They are active in finding problems and bringing people together to solve them.
- People-oriented. Agile testers prefer human interaction over technology. They are able to create a product that is both usable and useful by focusing on people.
- Have fun. It is the best way to achieve your goal. Customers are more satisfied with agile testers who love their work.
Profil of an Agile tester
These principles can be used to create a profile for the ideal Agile tester. These are the characteristics of Agile testers:
- Communication skills that are quick and effective
- Diverse, technical-based skillset
- Familiarity and familiarity with various testing tools and automation
- Ability to seamlessly collaborate with others
- Willingness to embrace change
- Ability to communicate with all stakeholders, from DevOps to business analysts
- Extensive experience in exploratory testing
- A results-oriented personality
- A passion for delivering value in business
Talk to a QA Expert Take a free test.
Types of Agile Testing
There are many methods for Agile testing. Here are the four most used agile testing methods. These frameworks can be used as a starting point to create a custom approach.
- Acceptance-driven development is a type of TDD (test-driven development). This embraces Agile testing’s collaborative nature, which brings together developers, customers, and testers to create acceptance test from the customer’s perspective. Once these tests are created, the functionality is developed. This workflow makes it easy to create test cases. Developers have direct insight into the customers’ needs and how they will use the product. It also removes ambiguity and reduces the chance of making large mistakes.
- Behavior-driven Development –BDD builds on and improves acceptance-driven and test-driven design. Their structure allows for the identification of desired business outcomes and executes tests that are based on these outcomes. BDD has five step.
- Describe your behavior
- The step definition should be
- Use to fail
- To make the step work, you can write code
- Use to pass
- Agile Exploratory Testing – Exploratory testing uses a cyclical approach, moving from test design to test execution, analysis and learning before starting the loop again. Tests are not scripted. Instead, they are created by Agile testers while the product is being explored. This requires the tester to use all of their unique skills. The closest that testers can get to actually interacting with the product is through exploratory testing. This is a great way for testers to quickly determine if they have any working software. It also allows them to find bugs that are not possible with other testing methods.https://www.youtube.com/embed/CJF-jCQeMysThree key phases of exploratory test
- Session Based Testing – Just like BDD for ATDD, session-based testing builds upon and refines exploratory tests. Its greatest weakness is its strength – the creativityof those who do it. This is why session-based testing aims to fix it by adding structure. A charter must be created before the test session can begin. The second stage is to test the candidates in a series of uninterrupted sessions, each session focusing on one charter. After the test, the entire session is reported to the manager. This structure prevents backlogs from building up in any one area and ensures that every product area is thoroughly tested.
Agile Testing Quadrants
These and other testing methods can make it difficult to determine which type of test should run, how often, when, and by whom. There are many types of tests: acceptance testing, regression testing and unit testing. It is also a matter of preference between automated or manual testing for the current iteration.
Crispin and Gregory created the Agile testing quadrants concept, which provides a taxonomy of tests. Crispin explains that the left-hand quadrants allow teams to know what code to write, and when it is finished. These quadrants provide feedback to the left-hand quadrants and help teams learn more about their code.
- Q1 The Automated Quadrant includes tests that help improve the code of the product. They are done to assist the team in creating a better product.
- Q2 – The Automated & Manual Quadrant includes tests that aim to improve the business results of the product being developed. They are used to assist the team in creating a product that is valuable for customers and the business.
- Q3 The Manual quadrant includes tests that provide feedback on tests in quadrants 1, 2 and 3. It tests the product and user experience to determine business outcomes.
- Q4 The Tools quadrant includes tests that use technology in order to verify that the code meets all nonfunctional requirements, such as security or compatibility.
The Advantages of Agile Testing
Adopting Agile testing has threesimple advantages: happier employees, higher quality products and faster delivery. This trifecta is well worth the time and effort required to develop an Agile testing framework.
- Higher-quality products –Agile allows testers to identify more problems earlier in the development process.
- Continuous feedback is one of the Agile principles. This doctrine allows bugs to be identified and eliminated as soon as they occur. Every iteration of the product’s creation is thoroughly tested and debugged before it’s released. Every member on the development team is involved in testing, so both developers and testers can be tapped for their expertise to create the perfect product.
Continuous feedback, early, and often testing can also lead to testers acquiring a deep understanding of the product. They can use that knowledge to create superior products, depending on how they test.
- Quick delivery – With waterfall testing, the initial stages and final release onto the market can be separated by several months, if it not years. This means that features and the entire product may be irrelevant once it reaches customers.
Agile testing reduces the development cycle while allowing customers to provide feedback. This ensures that the product is ready for the market and can reach customers as quickly as possible.
- A happier group – The last principle of Agile testing is enjoyment. Agile testing requires close interaction among all members of the team. This creates a more fun, productive, and happier workplace. Customers, developers, and testers work together to produce the best product possible and provide the greatest value.
Crispin and Gregory have it right:
“A team that is guided by Agile principles and values will be more productive than a team with talented people.”
Potential disadvantages of Agile methodology
But, there is no perfect system. Inadequately implemented Agile testing can lead to a weaker team structure and product development. This could prevent releasing a viable product. Even when all Agile methods are properly used, there are weaknesses. Exploratory testing, for example, can lack the structure required to ensure that a product has been thoroughly tested. ATDD accounts for customer feedback but not for business outcomes.
Agile testing can be a downer because of the emphasis it places on people. They are useless if Agile testers are not included in the team they need to work with. A single Agile tester who is not skilled can cause a significant setback in product development.
A cluttered hierarchy can lead to conflict and confusion since everyone on the team is responsible for testing. Scrum, a method that attempts to avoid this problem by having “scrum masters”, has the potential for it to be relegated to a more traditional approach rather than being truly Agile.
Agile Testing Strategy
Each of these pitfalls can easily be avoided and you will enjoy the three most powerful advantages. It is important to determine when Agile testing should be avoided. This is the first step in successful Agile testing. Blindly adopting Agile testing can lead to a weak and crash-prone product.
These guidelines are for situations where Agile might not be the best method to test.
- If the scope of the project is clear, it’s very unlikely that they will change.
- If the project is managed by a single owner of a product or stakeholder, with minimal requirements
- If your team members lack the deep skills required to do Agile testing,
- If the customer insists that testing be done using a traditional waterfall method
Once you’ve determined that Agile testing is beneficial to your team, product, and customers, it’s time to spend as much time choosing the right method and creating a process to test using the four-quadrant approach.
In order to counter the potential exclusion of testers, they should be as close as possible to developers. They should meet regularly with developers to discuss what’s going on, and also to allow them to review any tests that they have developed. Iterative approaches can be used here as well as during the testing process to help teams connect and facilitate later collaboration.
By providing valuable feedback, testers can help open doors by opening up for themselves. This is based on their interactions with customers and developers. To sum it all, testers should be indispensable to developers to do their job well.
Agile Testing success
To ensure that Agile testing is successful for a product, it is important to hire people with the key characteristics of Agile testers and to foster a culture of autonomy and independent thinking within the company.
This environment will naturally lead to stable infra without sacrificing speed. It will result in happier workers who deliver a better product faster for a satisfied customer.