4 Reasons Why You Must Consider Exploratory Testing Within Agile
Explore the benefits of exploratory testing to understand why and just how it fits within an Agile framework.
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Creating an application is no longer an easy task. There are a number of factors that you must consider while conceptualizing an application and finally getting it into motion. The user interface, technology, user profile, and devices are some key considerations that application makers consider before diving into the application development process. Nevertheless, the times are changing and so are the expectations and preferences. This means that you need a process that enables you to keep exploring, learning, and executing constantly. That's where exploratory testing blends in within the Agile environment.
If you just begin to understand the benefits of exploratory testing, you will realize how business critical it is, especially in the current scenario of absolute digital chaos. In a practical sense, it enables testing teams to keep up with the Agile development process.
This testing approach believes in the core strengths and values of the testers, where testing becomes an integral aspect of the overall development process. It prioritizes people and their interaction above processes and tools. It helps to look at testing and development as a process rather than a comprehensive conclusion or sign of completion. Most critically, exploratory testing helps testers and developers to respond effectively to changes or crisis situations.
These are some immediate benefits of considering exploratory testing. What do these translate into in the application development scenario, especially with the current digital uncertainty?
According to Jorge Lopez, Vice President of Research at Gartner, digital transformation is "digital business transformation." He further states, "We have found that some companies will approach digital business by incrementally improving many new and different functions in a company with no executive or industry focal point to the entire set of investments. The most successful ones will have a top-level digital business industry vision, which defines how the enterprise will change how the industry is structured."
Consequently, the relevance of the exploratory testing pattern in the process of digital transformation becomes evident. Let's get to the details!
Considering Exploratory Testing in Agile
Agile is all about shorter testing and development cycles, frequent testing and continuous integration. How does an exploratory outlook fit in here?
1. Enables You to Make Changes All the Time, At Any Time.
In an Agile scenario, it is important to facilitate changes constantly, which further helps to execute an Agile project successfully. Exploratory testing blends into the process to make all these objectives achievable. It enables QA professionals to source and provide feedback constantly and further refine the testing process by building a strong approach to development. This helps development teams to meet their timelines and stay confident throughout the software development cycle.
Moreover, it becomes easier for testers to look at every aspect of data and take a decision before providing the feedback and guidance to the application development teams.
2. Build Better Software, and Keep Enhancing
Being continuous is the key here — continuous development, continuous deployment, and continuous improvement. The idea of Agile is to make all this possible within the software's lifecycle. Exploratory testing, with its design and structure, enables this with simultaneous learning, test design, and test execution. This enables teams to keep testing, sourcing feedback, and implementing the changes on a consistent basis.
3. Focus on Communication and Interaction
Agile, as the process defines, focuses on open channels of communication and feedback on a continuous basis, making exploratory testing sustainable in an Agile scenario. Due to the overall structure and pattern in which Agile functions, it becomes easier to get feedback and turn it around for effective implementation.
In this way, evaluation teams are able to provide real-time updates to their counterparts working in an Agile environment, enabling them to keep optimizing the development process.
4. Enables Users to Look Beyond Testing
When the focus shifts from mundane repetitive tasks to high-flying testing goals, it helps to look beyond the obvious. Automation can be implemented to get the regular testing task done. However, the exploratory approach is needed to ensure that the application works as it should according to the expected business brief. Exploratory testing helps testers to get more creative and not get loaded with routine testing activities.
Findings from the exploratory approach can help testing teams to build a strong test management system, which captures the learning and expertise of various members in the testing team. This not only helps to keep pace with the software releases, but also helps to ensure the quality of the software. Hence, exploratory testing is very much an asset for Agile teams.
Published at DZone with permission of Hiren Tanna, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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