5 Tips for Agile Testing
A guide for making the most out of sprints when using Agile.
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Due to the rapid pace of development and an increased role of time-to-market criteria, multiple teams have to seek more effective ways of delivering products. Agile methodology is precisely the right option. What are the reasons for its wide application?
Prompt releases, smooth adoption to changing market requirements, and extended team responsibility for the overall result – the list of pros can be prolonged even further.
That being said, quality shouldn’t be affected because of accelerated product creation. Software testing serves its purpose, but this process can be challenging.
Let's round up the answers to the trickiest aspects of establishing QA processes in terms of the evolving product development landscape.
Can QA Engineers Get Down to Testing Before the Development of the Software Starts?
Yes, they can! And here I don't only refer to test-driven development.
Before a single line of code is written, QA engineers can test the requirements to the product to catch any ambiguities and fix them earlier in the life cycle.
Our experience shows that requirements testing should take place before a sprint is planned and specialists are involved in a project.
It is important that several teams are engaged in software development because it becomes more likely to miss substantial details in the product logic when integrating new functionality.
Therefore, it's recommended to check all user stories before the code is prepared to find all possible inaccuracies and contradictions.
Especially since requirements testing won’t take long, and you will never face the fact that the sprint has been spent in vain and all the work has to be redone.
When planning a sprint, it’s important to allocate time for checking and discussing the inaccuracies with the business analyst or project manager.
Long-Term Agile Planning – Is It Real?
Yes, it is. To make it real, it’s important to generate a plan to allow delivering a working piece of software at the end of every sprint, the duration of which should remain intact.
Another crucial thing is to regularly update the product backlog – a list of business and technical requirements for the software. Generally, a product owner performs this activity.
Also, backlog refinement – a collaborative discussion of the tasks – can help make sure long-term planning plays to your advantage. During this discussion, the teams should make sure that the backlog is updated and clear.
How to Organize Test Documentation Within an Agile Environment
The documentation breakdown will depend on several aspects – starting from the complexity of the product business logic to the vertical the software belongs to.
Dev-QA integration plays a key role here, as well as the simultaneous start of their work.
When both of the teams cooperate closely, they clearly understand the functional requirements of the software even if user stories are described superficially.
The developers distribute the tasks to be performed and the order of passing the results to software testing engineers. At this time, the QA specialists start preparing test documentation and clarifying technical issues with the developers.
Why is it important? By following the above-mentioned process, you can prevent errors earlier in the development, improve the code quality, and reduce the number of defects.
Who Can Perform the Role of a Scrum Master?
According to the Scrum Guide, it should be an external specialist who will have control over the Scrum processes finding out the gaps and detecting all possible risks.
Most often, a manager performs this function. Nevertheless, whomever is a Scrum Master on the project – a QA engineer or a developer – the person should be able to smoothly switch the role and carry out appropriate duties.
With practice, even experienced software testing engineers with managerial skills successfully coped with this role.
What Are the Benefits of Sprint Retrospectives?
It’s worth mentioning that a retrospective as a Scrum practice will never solve existing problems on its own.
It just allows engineers to review the issues, resolve the conflicts, and find the best ways to proceed further. Team members will individually choose properly performed tasks, identify the desired aspects to improve and define the ways of subsequent enhancement.
How effective retrospective is will depend on the proactivity of every single team member. If there is a desire to improve, it’s possible to avoid the same bottlenecks in the future.
Agile testing benefits help minimize disagreements throughout the project scope and partially form the reason for such widespread use of the methodology itself.
Transparent and visible processes, better communication and close integration of teams, swift bug fixing processes, and flexibility to incorporate new requirements are only some relevant perks.
Add to this some of the best development practices, and you’ll get timely delivery of high-quality software that meets all business requirements!
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