By: Akshita
September 7 2018

Bringing Agile to the Testing

Agile teams work in a very different environment than the traditional Waterfall teams. Although both provide their fair share of perks, the Agile methodology can be difficult to put in practice especially in testing.

The QAs are often burdened with the tasks which lack cross-functional teams, that they often forget to look outside the assigned job role.

In this blog, I will summarize some of the Agile practices that you could consider as a QA or for one in your team. 

Reason to Bring Agility to the Testing

Agile development methodologies are definitely the best you can get to induct in your practices. With an iterative approach, user feedback and faster release, agile processes can be astronomical for your project management.

Business leaders were reeling under the pressure of heavyweight planning process of software development practices like Waterfall which deemed the finished product ineffective.

From customer collaboration to faster delivery of projects, Agile processes are very meritorious.

The most- the QAs are siloed by function and which lack cross-functional teams, they do not look outside of the QA bucket. 

How to Bring Agility to the Testing Team

The following pointers helped us to defeat the issues listed above and make our testing a bit more agile and value-driven.

#1 Look Beyond the Horizon

As a QA it is important for you to look beyond your set roles and conditions. As part of the team, you need to ensure that your QA doesn’t restrict herself to the post-QA assessment.

The job of QA is to take part in the analysis process and understand the stories. Give feedback and set testing expectations during story kick-offs. This would ensure the feature meets its purpose even before it is given for QA testing. 

Understanding the business value would not only help you as a QA to find more bugs outside of the requirements but in the longer run, it would eventually stop them from coming up. 

Bridge the gap even before it starts to make its presence felt. 

#2 Get to the Core and Reduce the Waste

Following the first step, the result will significantly speed up the process of QA. However, there is more underlying to the core. In order to change the process get to the core, look at the way your tech systems work.

See if the clients’ future needs can be met with the current technology at work. Bring in the automated tests in areas of change wherever required. The purpose of evolving the testing framework with changing applications is to create a trustworthy system. 

Next to getting the entire team to have a stake in quality, not just the QA. 

#3 Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility

Once, you have introduced the concept, it shouldn’t take you much to improve the process from the roots. Since, quality becomes part of the developing, ensuring improved quality happens simultaneously. 

Advocating quality in the project by everyone is as disruptive and effective as removing the QA from the scene. 

Why is Agile Development Hard and Difficult Work?

benefits of agile

#High pressure: Something that every professional would hate to work under (pardon me, if you don’t come under this category). Yes, the pressure is on the list. There is always more pressure on Agile Teams. In order to continuously deliver working code that generates value. Deadlines are shorter than the usual and the team is not shielded from customers by layers of analysts.

#Stale code: Often skipped in order to avoid the pressure, teams skipping codes just jump to planning and design. In such a scenario while your team might appear to look faster than usual, rotten codes might come out as a hideous problem later. How? It will make the codebase difficult to maintain. Debt is always a bad term, even in the tech slang. This tech debt will lead to a decline in productivity and an increase in technical and architectural issues. 

#No Scope for Mistake: That’s true, while your speed and efficiency are important, the risk for mistakes increases by manifold. It is good to take risks but of course, you can’t afford to leave a software in the middle of a sprint. Wastage of time and resources can turn down the game in sprints. 

Strategies for experiments need to be developed such that the success of the sprint does not depend on it. 

But There are Benefits Too

  • Shorter sprints ensure the project kicks-off and close in a shorter time. Not only this, Agile affects the results. The project prototypes can be produced in lesser time, meaning effective use of time. 
  • What business would it be without client satisfaction? Collaboration in the sprints ensures better relations with the customer. In fact, customer collaboration is the key feature of agile methodologies. 

    The purpose is to make sure that Agile reduces the project failure while users are satisfied with the end product. 
  • The interaction between the team members to build mutual trust enhances transparency and ensures that first functionalities that are to be implemented are the ones with the biggest value for the business.

Ensuring quality is never one man's job. Contact us at [email protected] to explore more about Agile processes and understand if it is the right fit for your software development needs.