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The Software Development life cycle is witnessing an enormous change due to the introduction of new methods and approaches in developing the software. The way the testing process has been executed over the years has found a new approach in the form of agile methodology. The rapid growth of the test and QA industry is introducing unique solutions to minimize the complexity of the work process. If these solutions continue to accelerate a predictable future with consistency in pace and scope for the problem-solving approaches in the software development life cycle, chances are that traditional test planning can be soon replaced by agile testing activities.

Times, when testing is a barrier between accelerated Dev processes and Ops-driven delivery processes, could be a setback, if not dealt properly. However, testing is necessary to assure the quality of the final product or service to safeguard the business process.

“Agile provides a framework that allows organizations to release software in smaller iterations at a rapid pace; which can be related to digital transformation practices to operate software development workflow.”

agile testing

In an agile project environment, each team member contributes to the testing process; it could be a specific role or interim tasks. But they ought to deliver the user stories of the respective team at the end of the sprint. The stories involve the details of functional, performance, automated unit tests that need to be executed with every iteration.  Further automated scripts are created for deploying the code on test environments and executing the tests. Since testing is suffused in the development process, the test life cycle is adaptable to the changes. However, in the case of the sequential approach, it could affect the result due to frequent continuous approaches. This further augments the need for Agile in software development practices.

Agile Mode of Operation

Agile methodologies have been the forefront of the development process to enhance the speed of go-to-market strategy by focusing on collaboration, communication, and iteration terminologies.

How Agile Replaces Traditional Test Plans?

  • Simple structure makes way for a nominal test plan
  • The process requires less documentation
  • Perfect for small-term projects, and suitable for long-term ventures too
  • The agile process occurs concurrently to the project development, thus, bugs don't heap up
  • Every iteration has a separate testing activity which helps to respond quickly to the problems/changes
  • Continuous feedback helps in communication between testing teams and product owners which further helps to receive relentless feedback to enhance the visibility
  • When Agile is in action, test-driven development comes to life and helps to execute test cycles during implementation
  • Adaptable and accepts changes
Traditional test planning activitiesAgile’s role in test planning activities 
Determining the scope and risk of testingThe agile practices determine the viability at the beginning of the project.
Formulating test strategyAgile prioritize and improvise test activities and project initiation by defining each sprint, and its system test functions to validate the deliverables in each sprint.
Resource planningThe dedicated team works on the project's development process, as per the iteration requirements and feedback.
Ensuring entry and exit criteriaExecutes entry and exit criteria during particular release/iteration.
Test estimationAgile perform test estimation based on priority and business needs, followed by grooming features, sprint planning meeting, and planning poker.
Priority of testsAgile ensures precedence generated by order of importance and schedule time within each sprint to manage the priority of tests.
Defining management informationAgile is well equipped with an iterative approach to plan and guide project processes, furthermore, with the help of incremental methods manages the design and build activities.
Tool supportThe tools used in agile practice enables flexibility in the development process. Namely, Active Collab, JIRA Agile, Agile Bench, Pivotal Tracker, Telerik TeamPulse, VersionOne, Planbox, LeanKit, Selenium and so on.

Agile testing activities are comprehensive and extensively adaptable to new trends. In fact, prerequisites of projects are barely ever succinct, clear, and unchangeable throughout the course of the development process. Incorporating agile activities helps to align testing with the development process that matches the customer needs with the least complications. Hence, we can say that traditional testing plans can be replaced with Agile testing activities.

Pyramid Consulting’s Agile testing solution is not a separate phase, but an integral part of the software development process. Our QA designers provide helpful taxonomy to enable teams to identify and plan needed testing to match your business needs. If you are certain about incorporating Agile practices and need an immediate response to your requirement, then let us know. We have the right solutions to match your needs.

Carl Johanson

About the author

Carl Johanson

Practice Director, QA & Testing

Carl has been creating custom, forward-focused and effective QA solutions for Pyramid Consulting since 2012. Implementing the latest tech and thought leadership delights Carl just as it does clients. In his personal life, Carl focuses on doing things right and doing the right things—an important distinction—as efficiently as possible. If you need Carl urgently, check out your local drumming scene or the closest beach, otherwise you can find him at home with his beautiful and ever-growing family.

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