What Is the Difference Between Agile Testing and Traditional Testing? Are You Making the Right Choice?
Let’s explore the traditional testing principles and agile testing principles in terms of their features, advantages, disadvantages.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Faster product delivery is the need of the hour today for IT businesses to stand strong in a competitive environment. Choosing the right testing methodology between agile testing and traditional testing is crucial to accomplishing faster product delivery and fulfilling customer expectations.
Let’s explore the traditional testing principles and agile testing principles in more detail in terms of their features, advantages, disadvantages, along with the benefits of agile testing methodology over the traditional method.
What Is Traditional Testing?
The conventional approach calls in the testing team after the completion of the development processes. The team needs to take the detect-clean-release approach towards the applications at this point.
The traditional testing approach follows a tight plan, which cannot be changed at any point. They look into a lot of documentation and specifications before leaning their support to the next team.
The question now is whether this testing tactic works for your business or not. The subsections below list a few pros and cons that should help determine what testing method is right for you.
Advantages of Traditional Testing
- High-Quality Products: The products are thoroughly tested before release. Every bug, small or big, is detected, solved, and committed before users interact with the solution. The results are high-quality and reliable.
- Ensures Maximum Detection: You don't want to release products without identifying the errors within. The traditional testing approach allows you to identify all the bugs possible. As a result, there is no chance of an error-prone product release.
Disadvantages of Traditional Testing
- Single Point-of-Control: In the traditional testing method, the project manager is responsible for all aspects of testing. As a result, the entire project's onus falls on a single person, proving to be a disadvantage for time-consuming and enterprise-grade tasks.
- Need for Documentation: The testing team has to go through all levels of documentation. As a result, the paperwork plays a pivotal role in ensuring testing perfection. It can be time-consuming and lead to delayed releases
- Zero Collaboration: There is barely any interaction between the development and testing team except the documentation aspect. As a result, this leads to confusion. There are a lot of to-and-fros involved in the process.
What Is Agile Testing?
The agile testing methodology is a set of practices and tactics that allow the developer team to connect with the testing team at the start of the project. The continuous integration of these various groups allows for quicker releases and better iterations, thus resolving the project's errors right from the beginning of the process. It also facilitates continuous improvement in software testing.
While the traditional testing method is incremental, agile is continuous and concludes with the project's deployment.
Advantages of Agile Testing
- Cost-Efficient: You don't wait until the end of the project to resolve the errors. As a result, you will save a lot of resource time and the number of resources involved. It will eventually result in cost and effort savings.
- Rapid Product Delivery: Given the flexibility and emphasis on customer collaboration, the agile testing methodology ensures responsiveness and, as a result, rapid product delivery.
- Quicker Feedback: You get feedback from the end-user based on your iterative releases, which allows you to incorporate the changes faster. You can launch an update more quickly as a result of this approach.
Disadvantages of Agile Testing
- Not Predictable: You cannot easily determine the delivery time or cost and efforts involved. It is difficult to assess the amount of effort required for a particular test.
- Limited Documentation: This is a two-edged sword for agile methodology. With limited documentation, it makes it difficult sometimes to specify and communicate individual testing components of large projects.
- Lack of Processes: While this helps deliver quickly, it also impacts long-term projects in many ways. There is no clear vision or documentation that will help you conclude the testing phases. As a result, the teams can get sidetracked, and they can prolong the project with this approach.
Critical Differences Between Traditional Testing and Agile Testing Approaches
Having understood how the two approaches work, it is essential to know the critical differences between them.
There is a core difference between the way these two work. While the traditional model is more predictable and phased in its technique, the agile methodology is iterative and adaptive. The latter works need-based and defines the processes according to the testing needs. It is quite flexible while the traditional approach is not.
The agile philosophy is test-first, while the traditional method works on the development-first method. In agile methodology, the testing is conducted along with the development and after the product's first release. As a result, the user's feedback is also incorporated for an effective launch. Traditionally, testers used to get involved in the project only after the development was completed. The test cases were planned, defined, and then used to identify bugs and fix them.
The two differ in the core work appointed to them as well. For Agile, the target is to accelerate the release of the product without compromising on the quality. As a result, the developer and testers collaborate to release a minimum viable product before releasing the actual software solution. The release is phased into several sprints and milestones. Traditional approaches are used to cater to the entire project development. They would ensure that the whole project is developed, tested, and then released. They concentrated on releasing high-quality and reliable products.
The modern methodology refers to a sprint-based process, which is iterative and continuous. As a result, the testing is conducted alongside the development, and both are continuous across the iterations. However, the traditional method differs in the process as well. The planning phase defines how many features need to be added to the system. Once the components are added and the documentation is ready, the product goes to the testing team. The modules go through unit testing, regression, and system testing.
Feedback is essential for agile testing. The method approves and incorporates the user feedback at the end of every release to make it more user-centric. The development and testing cycles are short. The conventional approach demands input at the end of testing after the release of the product. The system incorporates the feedback and upgrades in the next version of the project.
Agile methodology thrives on the collaboration of the various teams—developing and testing teamwork together to release a sprint or product. In the case of traditional testing processes, the two groups worked in silos. After you completed the development, you hand over the project to the testing team with the requisite documentation. As a result, the whole project was done without inputs or the presence of team members.
Modifications to the project are made continuously, during the development stage, in agile methodology. The changes are taken in the subsequent sprint testing itself. The agile method enables QA in product development to continuously integrate and continuously deliver.
The traditional testing method did not give importance to the risks involved. It was averse to the risks, as the bugs were identified and cleaned only after the development. It not only delayed the product release but also involved high costs and resource allocation. The timeliness of identifying and preventing the risks in Agile methodology leads to cost-efficient and resource-efficient processes.
As the teams worked in silos, documentation proved to be the only communication mode between developers and testers. From the business requirements to the code components, you need to mention everything in the documentation. The agile methodology allowed collaboration and real-time communication between the teams. As a result, the paperwork required was minimal, and the collaboration was extensive.
Why Is Agile Testing Preferred Over the Traditional Software Testing Approach?
The advantages are clear and so are the differences. Let's take a look at why more businesses are preferring agile methodology over conventional software testing approaches.
The agile testing methodology allows the teams to be more flexible with their testing approaches. They don't need to stick to plan A from the start, even if it does not work for them. They can adapt on-the-go, which makes it easier for them to develop and test products faster. It overthrows the top-down approach and accommodates all the last-minute changes with ease.
The units don't work in silos, which means the chance of getting a quality product faster is higher with agile. Your teams are a single unit, and they collaborate and call for changes as and when required. The users and clients are also part of the process, making the approach reliable and offering superior quality assurance services.
The sprint-based testing method allows for quicker bug detection and faster resolution. You will notice that the feedback is immediately incorporated in this case. The onus of failure, as well as success, falls on each individual within the team. They are more accountable and empowered, which results in successful projects.
When you embrace the agile methodology, you are also accepting the sprint-based evolution of the projects. As a result, you will be letting the products into the market faster. Even the updates and newer versions of the sprints are released at an accelerated speed.
The feedback plays a prominent role in ensuring quality solutions. The modern testing approach calls for user feedback along with the development processes. Eventually, you will be able to release better products faster as you know what the user wants. It is a user-centric approach.
Wrapping It Up
To successfully implement modern testing practices, you need to outsource software testing to a partner who works with enterprise-grade software systems for unmatched performance. We, at Maruti Techlabs, provide a full cycle of Quality Engineering services that enable quicker bug detection and closure, seamless coordination, and less turnaround time for product release. For a flawless performance at every stage, get in touch with us.
Published at DZone with permission of Mitul Makadia. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.