4 Steps To Developing an Agile Testing Mindset
Agile testing mindset comes with a lot of practice. Fortunately, successful Agile transition is not that difficult if you were to follow these 4 golden steps.
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To ensure a successful transition to the agile process, we must hone our skills in agile testing mindset. It is more of a mentality, followed by all the necessary traits that are needed to get things done efficiently.
On that note, an agile testing mindset also requires relearning and focusing on communication, evolution, documentation, and collaboration.
Agile Testing Mindset Is Not as Easy as It Seems | Here’s Why
According to the Standish Group’s CHAOS report 2012, as compared to regular projects, agile projects are three times more successful.
In this light, it is no wonder that so many people prefer converting to the agile process. However, there are several important roles in Agile testing methods. One can only become an expert at a handful of roles because of several complications and challenges along the way.
Also, transitioning to an agile testing mindset, is not as simple as deciding to make the shift. Alongside attention to the cultural shift and the organizational commitment, due regard should be given to agile testing roles which are a fundamental part of the agile process.
4 Ingenious Ways to Transition to an Agile Testing Mindset:
These 4 tips are to be taken as a general guideline. Depending on your organization’s environment, the approach to Agile mindset might be different. Therefore, feel free to improvise:
1. Team Communication and Collaboration
In the Agile approach, it is the people who respond to the needs of the business and help drive the development process. It is essential, therefore, in developing the agile testing mindset that individuals are heard.
As the Agile process revolves around customer satisfaction through continuous software delivery, the testers must be taught to use their voice and communicate. At the end of the day, the goal for everyone involved in the same i.e. creating the best product and experience possible.
Gone are the days of individual and isolated units bringing success. And if the Agile process is the way to go, communication is paramount. An agile process requires a teamwork approach rather than individual or departmental testing, as it is the team’s duty for quality and not the tester’s duty for quality.
The integration as a single team not only helps everyone meet the end goal of providing a beneficial product to the user it also ensures there are no process delays.
Moreover, it allows for process opportunities to be realized, this in turn allows for shortcomings in the product to be realized sooner and eventually allowing issues to be prevented rather than just detected.
For effective team collaboration, there must be one of the appended possibilities:
- Clear objectives and separation of work between multiple teams, this allows independence for the teams to ensure that the same work is not being done by different members, this creates cross-team dependencies.
- Lack of departmental silos allows successful agile transition which may require a need to change the culture and structure to support the team organization.
Due to the sheer size and volume of companies nowadays, some of which may be multinational, certain tools and techniques could aid in creating a successful agile testing mindset.
These variables can possibly include:
- Integration tools
- Visual boards
- Cross-team daily stand-ups
- Cross-team release planning
2. Learn Fast Evolution
Agile testing training perhaps is the best course of action in transitioning to the agile process. Developing an effective agile testing mindset will allow a smooth transition to the agile process and can be aided by sufficient training.
Unlike what testers may be accustomed to agile does not require final checks or detections of issues. Agile testing is evolving and is carried out during the development of the software and not just on the end product.
This is because agile testing is the primary prevention of issues rather than just detection. Agile testing hones specific modules and testing types which is why agile testing training will be beneficial to those looking to transfer to the agile process.
The agile process is also based on a short feedback return time and with the constant testing of the product testers must learn fast evolution for a successful transition to an agile process.
Continuous testing requires a change to the people, processes, and technology, and thus developing the agile testing mindset to implement these changes is essential.
As part of the software delivery pipeline doing automated tests to supply risk-based feedback as swiftly as possible is crucial in the agile process. Through continuous testing being embedded throughout the development process, the team is helped to ensure the protection of the user experience.
3. Relying on Working Software Rather than Documentation
Generally, software products can be documented for development and delivery.
A vast amount of time can be spent in creating this documentation with an extensive list of the type of documentation required including but not limited to:
- Technical specifications
- Technical prospectus
- Interface design documents
- Technical requirements
- Documentation plans
- Test plans
The time and attention required to complete this documentation often is the cause for delays in development. Although documentation is still required in an Agile process, the method of documentation is simplified in a way that avoids such delay.
With the implementation of the agile testing mindset, the tester is freed up to focus more on the software and focus on activities that will add value and in turn lead to satisfied customers.
Smart documentation holds a great role in agile testing allowing for the focus to be on the end product.
In agile projects, the test plan is usually very precise due to the method of documentation, and therefore it is suggested that it be supplemented with a testing strategy that describes how the system is to be tested.
This is the result of the way agile projects function, mainly the way that the testers work in short iterations. Commonly used documents in agile testing can include
- A test strategy of how the system is to be tested
- A test plan
- Checklists for installation and regression testing
- Test specifications
- Ideas for exploratory testing
- Test logs and backlogs
4. Giving Extra Value to Customer Feedback & Collaboration
The role in agile testing of customer satisfaction is achieved through continuous software delivery. Although certain customers may not be interested in how your product is created, all customers are relying on the result being satisfactory.
This is achieved somewhat differently through Agile. Firstly, testing throughout the process leads to an improved final product.
Rather than the customer just receiving the end product which may have issues in the way they use it, that will be difficult perhaps even impossible to fix at that time, through having an agile testing mindset glitches and issues are identified as they occur and leave the customer with an overall better end product.
Secondly, Agile provides increased customer control. The role in agile testing of customer collaboration is greater than that of contract negotiation.
The customer has a greater role throughout the development process and because of this, they can offer their input during every stage of the development process. Because of this, the product can be aligned with the customer’s needs and expectations resulting in a far superior result.
The agile testing mindset must give value to customer needs over company requirement specifications. Agile methods could either incorporate an end-user as a part of the team, attending all meetings, and ensuring end goals are met or include an end-user at intervals for demos.
Thus, the continuous testing nature of the agile testing mindset allows for a product that is both high-quality and completely aligned with the customer’s expectations.
A successful transition to the agile process will provide a multitude of benefits. And through developing the agile mindset and incorporating the agile process these benefits can be gained.
The agile process allows for transparency that no other process may allow, due to the involvement of clients throughout the development of the software. Agile also provides a greater degree of collaboration and stakeholder engagement.
Over to You!
Due to the iterative nature of agile processing, there is an overall improved quality of the result. Moreover, the focus on users and business values provide for happier and more satisfied customers. The short testing schedules also allow for early and predictable delivery as well as predictable costs and schedules.
The aptitude for change in the agile system additionally allows for the correction of issues as well as adhering to the customer’s needs and allowing for more content end-users.
However, to reap these benefits a successful transition is imperative, and implementing the tips mentioned above to develop the agile testing mindset the transition will be made all the swifter and simpler.
Published at DZone with permission of Fred Wilson, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.
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