Agile Methodology In Testing: Agile development builds software in small chunks over time rather than all at once. Similarly, Agile testing tests software features incrementally as they are developed. Even though Agile methods are popular today, many companies still use waterfall or hybrid approaches, especially in regulated industries that require more documentation. Some teams are also switching over to Agile.
No matter where your team is in adopting Agile, this article explains the fundamentals of Agile testing. It shows how to transition to Agile test methods and create an effective Agile testing strategy. The goal is to help teams understand and implement Agile testing, whether new to Agile or converting from other methods.
Still, you may have many questions regarding Agile methodology like:
- What is an Agile methodology?
- How can you implement Agile methodology in software development?
- What is the Agile Software Development life cycle (SDLC)?
Agile Methodology Overview
This scrum methodology was formally launched in 2001 when 17 technologists drafted the Agile manifesto.
Before Agile Methodology In Testing
Before the scrum methodology launched, most organizations followed the waterfall software development model. In the waterfall model, the organization works more on the documents before the coding phase.
The documentation starts with the business analyst (BA) by writing the business requirement documents or business requirement specification (BRS documents), where the business analysis mentions all the requirements needed in the application by the client. These BRS documents contain all the details like strategy, functional specifications, and user interface design.
What’s the business analysis to gather all the client’s requirements from the client? Then, the technologist takes the document and prepares the phone technical requirement document. This technical requirement document contains the application’s architecture, object-oriented, functional design, data structures, user interface design, and non-functional requirements.
After preparing all these documents and also baseline those documents, the coding process is started. After developing the module, the developers are integrated into those models. Before deploying that application to the production environment, the QA tested and validated it. So, in this way, the development process of a software product is a couple of years.
In the waterfall model, the client or business must wait long for a working product. If they have found any issues in the application, they have to wait longer to fix them. Because of this, various organizations are looking for an alternative methodology that can adapt to the changes as soon as possible and eliminate the need to wait for the final product for a longer time.
Agile Methodology Definition
Agile methodology is a project management process mainly used for software development, where demands and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customers.
Overview of Agile Methodology Scrum
When the organization follows the traditional development model like the Waterfall model, V model, iterative model, spiral model, etc., all these models are based on a timeline approach, which means the development happens sequentially. The product is not revealed until the QA fully develops and validates the software.
Until the final product is delivered, sometimes the objectives are also changed, which results in the loss of money and a waste of effort. That’s why the software community brought a new development model, an Agile methodology model, in 2001. The software community people are coming together and defining what should be practiced, and they have also created an Agile manifesto.
What is the Agile Manifesto?
Agile methodology has four fundamental values and 12 key principles. These principles aim to help cover better software development methods by providing a clear and measurable structure, promoting iterative development team collaboration, and recognizing the changes.
Here are the four fundamental values of the Agile manifesto:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change by following a plan
Below are the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto:
- Customer satisfaction through early and continuous software delivery
- Accommodate changing requirements throughout the development process
- Frequent delivery of working software
- Collaboration between the business stakeholders and developers throughout the project
- Support, trust, and motivate the people involved
- Enable face-to-face interactions
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes to support a consistent development pace
- Attention to technical detail and design enhances agility.
- Self-organizing teams encourage great architectures, requirements, and designs.
- Regular reflections on how to become more effective
Within Agile project management, various Frameworks are used to develop or deliver a software product or service. Each Framework has its setup characteristics and terminology, but all frameworks have some common principles and practices.
Out of various agile frameworks, there are two most popular frameworks that multiple organizations widely use. That is scrum and kanban.
Agile Scrum Methodology
Scrum is one of the agile frameworks that is used for software development. This framework was created by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber (who were also among the 17 individuals who cemented the Agile Manifesto).
This framework mainly focuses on five values:
Scrum aims to develop, Deliver, and complex product collaboration ability and iterative progress. Also, you may know what distinguishes Scrum from other agile methodologies. The answer is that Scrum has roles, events, and artifacts. Here is what they are:
Scrum Team Roles
Before starting the Agile methodology for an application, we have to be clear on a few things, such as the user of the application and baseline document, which have the scope of the problems, values, and opportunities mentioned.
So, in the agile methodology, the product owner has the vision and works with a team to deliver the vision. Here, we are going to describe all the roles in this process:
User: In the above, we have already mentioned that when developing the application product, the first thing that comes to mind is the end-user or the customer.
Product owner: The product owner is an expert representing the stakeholders and acting as the customer’s voice.
Development team: The group of professionals aiming to deliver the product. Here, the team represents developers, programmers, QA & designers.
Scrum Master: The main purpose of a scrum master is to ensure that the understanding and execution of scrum are followed.
Sprint: This is an iterative time frame where a goal is achieved. The time frame should not exceed one calendar month and, in some organizations, are following 15 days print. This should be consistent throughout the development process.
Sprint planning: In sprint planning, the scrum team comes together at the beginning of every sprint to plan for the upcoming sprint.
Daily scrum: this meeting is carried out every day for 15 minutes. The whole team Shares their previous day’s achievements and discusses their plans regarding their task. If they have some blockers that affect their daily tasks, they can share about that blocker this meeting.
Sprint review: This is an informal meeting that happens after every sprint. With the scrum team, discuss what went well, what did not in the last sprint, and what should be improved for the upcoming sprint for better productivity.
Product backlog: This is maintained by the product owner, who mentions the requirements for a product on a priority basis. Which includes features, functions, requirements, enhancement, and fixes.
Sprint backlog: This contains all the tasks and requirements needed in the coming print. Some organizations use the scrum task board to visualize the progress of the sprint tasks. The scrum board contains three columns: to-do, doing, and don’t format.
Burndown Chart: This is a graphical representation of the remaining task. In this chart, the remaining work is represented in a vertical axis in time in the horizontal axis.
Product increment: This is one of the critical artifacts of agile methodology. It is also called product improvement, where we have noted the amount of work completed during a sprint combined with all work during the previous sprint.
Agile methodology has revolutionized software testing by emphasizing incremental development and testing. While it has become a staple in many organizations, the transition is ongoing for others, particularly those in regulated industries.
Understanding the basics of Agile testing is crucial for successful adoption and effective implementation. Whether you are a seasoned Agile practitioner or embarking on this journey, continuous learning and adaptation are key.
We encourage you to share your experiences, insights, or suggestions related to Agile testing. Your valuable input can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of Agile methodologies and their application in the dynamic field of software testing. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions below to foster a collaborative knowledge exchange and improvement space.