The concept of Agile comes from Toyota’s approach to lean manufacturing back in the 1940s – which was originated with the mission to eliminate waste and promote continuous improvement.
In the 1990s, software industries adopted these principles in the form of iterative development of software, and the main focus was given to Agile for areas such as incremental software development, delivering customer value and human elements, such as self-organization and team autonomy.
After adopting the DevOps and Cloud, the Agile approach was combined with iterative development. Nowadays, companies are heavily using Agile methodologies for ongoing maintenance and IT development.
Mainly, Agile methods are using for IT domains to help businesses achieve their important objectives. Companies are doing struggle today to meet the right level of quality standards versus speed. Some critical problems with conventional development and testing involve the following:
- High project failure rate.
- Long time to market for applications and products.
- Lack of ability to respond faster to change.
- Insufficient software quality.
- ROI below expectations.
- Inadequate regular interaction and customer orientation.
- Over-engineered products – most of the products’ features or apps’ features may not be properly used or worked.
- Inadequate customer orientation and regular interaction.
To resolve these issues, Testing and Quality Assurance become the right approach and blend together with Agile development.
A business-centric approach is used for Agile engagements as this method helps select the right test focus areas such as Behavior Driven Development to describe acceptance criteria. This approach demands skills not only to accomplish the testing part but also in software development and business.
Some Flavors of Agile are:
- Lean Software Development.
- Extreme Programming (XP).
- Scaled Agile Framework.
- Large Scale Frame.
Scrum is a framework that requires an Agile mindset to develop, deliver, and sustain complex products. When thinking about an Agile approach, companies conduct Scrums in iterative or short cycles known as Sprints where team members get ready the list of requirements and prioritize the highest value of features and deliver in increments every two weeks or four weeks.
After a while, the team members of each sprint present a usable product to the targeted and its relevant audience and take initiatives to enhance its procedures and processes before launching new sprints.
Kanban is a very popular framework utilized to execute DevOps and Agile in Software Development. Kanban allows for real-time communication to maintain complete transparency at the workplace. It is feasible to visualize the work activities on a Kanban board, and team members can pinpoint bottlenecks to avoid hold-ups.
Lean Software Development
The purpose of Lean Software Development is to eliminate unnecessary documentation and waste, and even suitable for acquiring flexibility.
By eliminating the unneeded procedures, companies can bring value for customers and focus on creating results that customers all want and appreciate. Lean Software Development is also helpful for reducing the time to market for products and services.
Extreme Programming (XP)
XP (Extreme Programming) is an engineering-based system that uses an inwardly focused effort with automation to minimize interim work products and increase productivity.
Extreme Programming employs automated testing with integrated outcomes regularly and allows team members to review and fix errors whenever any occur.
Scrumban is a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban. It is an Agile development methodology to fulfill the unique needs of teams who wish to adopt a pull-based system and minimize the batching of work.
For many Software Development teams, shifting to Kanban can be challenging. At this point, Scrumban offers a learning curve to teams and lets them practice continuous improvement in Kanban without understanding the familiar structure of Scrum.
Scaled Agile Framework
The Scaled Agile Framework utilizes a system thinking method to synchronize project workflows and results within an organization.
The SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) lets companies scale the best practices and processes of Agile for more complex projects. Furthermore, it helps examine the relationships of organizational projects and ensures the best flow of work for programs and projects.
Large Scale Frame
LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) aims to help you coordinate with multiple scrum teams, especially which are working concurrently to develop project results or products at a large scale. With the Large Scale Frame, synchronization of the team’s activities and actions is possible to meet the entire objectives and goals.
Advantages of Agile Testing
Time & Money Saving
Everything in the Agile process is simple. Whether it is the matter of managing team processes like Scrum or taking care of small unit tests (development practices), Agile principles are reliant on simplicity.
Due to the simplest thing, it is easy to achieve excellent results in the most affordable option. Similarly, due to no over-engineering in Agile, companies can save a lot of time and bring as many products to market more rapidly.
Agile provides full support for using reusable checklists and lets you focus on the latest customer’s needs and expectations rather than following documented or broad requirements and instructions.
The Agile development approach works on the basis of no way anti-documentation. It simply gives reminders to teams about less documentation.
If the documentation is necessary, experts can keep them simple as possible. The idea of keeping documentation simple is that it enables teams to choose a low level of details and formats to deliver enough value to the customers but by following the right direction.
Flexible and Highly Adaptable to Changes
Agile testers are flexible and have highly adaptable skills to respond to changes in the product and the marketplace.
The agile colocation approach helps companies gather all key stakeholders in a single location where greater numbers of testers require to maintain a high level of throughput in the testing phases.
The remaining 30 to 40% can be representatives from Solution Design Team, Component Development Team, Environment Support, and Business Representations. Test-Driven Development and Delivery Management help enterprises complete the Agile testing project. Some key factors of an Agile Collocation Success include:
- Continuous and clear communication.
- Trust-based relationships.
- The ability to acknowledge and address cultural challenges.
- Developing remote domain knowledge.
- Technical infrastructure to support distribution.
Regular Feedback from End Users
Agile testing includes various phases from Impact Assessment, Agile Testing Planning, Release Readiness, Daily Scrums, Test Agility Review.
In Agile Testing, continuous feedback is taken from end-users by testers, business analysts, developers, product owners and scrum masters. The reason to get feedback regularly is to derive high-quality products for the targeted audience.
Due to the growing demand for Agile Testing, companies are facing so much pressure to ensure quick provisioning and higher availability merged with disruptive technologies such as Cloud Computing, Software/Hardware Virtualization, and Deployment Automation.
Overall, companies should have the best test environment strategy to focus on three key areas when performing Agile testing services: Service Automation, Service Automation, and Service Optimization. This strategy further helps companies achieve benefits that we’ve mentioned above for short-term or more extended duration.
In short, Agile testing aims to make teams collaborative, productive, and high-performing. It also helps deliver high-quality products with minimum time-to-market and generates high-value revenue with low upfront and ongoing costs. Last but not least, Agile testing allows to engage with stakeholders and ensures to give a high level of satisfaction to customers.
Kanika Vatsyayan is Vice-President Strategies at BugRaptors who oversees all the quality control and assurance strategies for client engagements. She loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging. Being a voracious bloggers, she published countless informative blogs to educate audience about automation and manual testing.