Agile Testing Methodology and its Principles

Agile Testing Methodology and its Principles

A decade ago, Agile was a buzzword for the tech world. But now, it has become mainstream and all the software development teams with an innovative mindset lean towards this approach.

Practically, agile is a time-bound, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project. It opposes the approach to trying to deliver software all at one near the end. 

(To understand the agile methodology in detail, please read our blog on agile vs. scrum)

Following the same principle, here we are going to discuss the Agile testing methodology. But first, it is quintessential to understand what it is all about. Simply put, it is the testing process within the framework of the Agile testing methodology. 

In other fine words, Agile testing is a core part of testing in agile software development. It is quite different from all the previous methodologies, in which testing was entirely a separate stage that occurred after the development process. 

In agile testing methodology, testing starts with the development process of the project. It is continuous testing that goes with the development and provides continuous feedback to improve the development process.

With agile testing methodology, testors are no longer a separate team but an indispensable part of the agile development team. Now, everyone on the team is responsible for the testing work. In some cases, test experts work closely with the developers throughout the software development cycle.

Principles of Agile Testing methodology

Principles of Agile Testing methodology

There are different principles involved in Agile Testing, included:

Testing is continuous

Agile teams tend to perform continuous testing and ensure continuous progress of the product.

Continuous feedback

Agile testing provides continuous feedback so that the changes can be made in the product as per the business needs.

The whole team is involved in Agile testing

In a normal software development cycle, the testing team is responsible for testing. On the other hand, in agile testing, all the team members including development are involved in the testing process.

Decreased time of feedback response

The business team is entirely involved in each iteration of agile testing. It paves the way for a fast development process.

Simplified & efficient code

All the bugs are fixed in the same iteration process in agile software testing. It paves the way for clean code. 

Test-Driven

In the traditional development cycle, testing is done after implementation. On the other hand, in agile testing, the testing is performed after implementation. 

Attributes of Agile Methodology Testing

Here are some benefits of the Agile testing approach:

  • It saves a lot of capital and shortens the development cycle
  • Agile testing reduces the documentation process
  • Agile testing makes the development process very adaptable to changes
  • It smoothens the process of receiving regular feedback from the end-user\
  • Daily meetings led to the development of the best product.

Scrum is another specific Agile methodology that is used to facilitate the project, read here about scrum project management.

Agile Testing Methods

Agile Testing Methods
  1. Behavior Driven Development (BDD)

BDD testing methods establish communication between the project stakeholders. So that all the members of agile methodology in testing are acquainted with every feature of the product before the start of the development process.

It facilitates example-focused communication through scenarios coming from testors, developers, and business analysts altogether.

The scenarios are written in some particular format. The format consisted of the information on how a particular feature behaves in different situations. They are particularly called “executable specifications” as they have inputs to the automated tests and specifications.

The whole concept behind BDD is that the whole team creates scenarios and builds tests for those scenarios which fail initially. Then the whole functionality of software builds to pass those scenarios. It is completely different from the normal testing process, as it tests all the individual components.

Presenting you the best practices for using a BDD methodology: 

  • It streamlines the whole documentation process to ensure the efficiency
  • It creates a scalable ecosystem where developers, product owners, and the tester worlds together to define different test cases and scenarios
  • It uses Cucumber, known as a declarative test framework to specify criteria
  • Infuse an ability to reuse automated tests across scenarios
  1. Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)  

The whole process of ATDD involves the customer, developer, and tester. They are often called three Amigos and frequent meetings occur to gather inputs to define test cases. Here are their respective roles: The customer is focused on the problem, the developer holds accountable for how the problem will be solved, and the tester will pay attention to what could go wrong.

Here the acceptance tests represent a user’s point of view and define how the system will operate. They also ensure the system functions as destined. They are automated and software functionality is built around these tests.

Here the optimal practices of testors involved in agile lifecycle testing using an ATDD methodology:

  • To align expectations, it directly interacts with the customers. 
  • To get acquainted with the customer’s needs, it gathers all the information through customer-facing members like service agents, marketing guys, and sales representatives.
  • In accordance with the customer expectations, it develops acceptance criteria.
  • It prioritizes two questions: How should we validate that the system performs a certain function? Will customers want to use the system when it has this function?
  1. Exploratory Testing

In this testing, the test execution and the test design go hand-in-hand. Rather than indulge in the planning, building, and running tests separately, this type focuses on interacting with working software.

This testing is not scripted and allows testors to mimic user behaviors and use their creativity.

Here are some of the best practices for exploratory testing:

  • It organizes functionality in the application by using a spreadsheet.
  • It highly focuses on areas and scenarios which are at higher risks in the software and create value for users.
  • It allows testers to document their results so they can behold accountable for areas of software they tested
  1. Session-Based Testing

It is much similar to the exploratory testing method. But it is older than the latter one and aimed towards ensuring the software is tested thoroughly. It adds test charters, and assists help testors know what to test, and test reports allow testors to document all the things during a test. These tests are conducted during time-boxed sessions.

Here, each session ends with a face-to-face brief between testors, scrum master, or manager to cover the five proof points:

  1. What exactly happened with the test 
  2. Things discovered by the tester
  3. Problems get in the way 
  4. Areas left for the testing 
  5. How tester feels about the areas of improvement

Read here: Mobile App Testing Trends 2021

Life Cycle of Agile Testing

Here are the 5 different phases in the Agile Testing life cycle such as:

Impact Assessment

The first phase follows the process to gather the inputs from all the stakeholders involved and the users. These inputs will be used as feedback for the next deployment cycle.

Agile Testing Planning

Here, all the stakeholders come together to plan things to follow like: Schedule of the testing process, meeting frequency, and deliverables.

Release Readiness

This stage involves the review of all the developed features and checking whether they are ready to be launched or not.

Daily Scrums

This phase includes checking on the status of the testing process and sets the goals in accordance with that. It happens regularly as per the schedules of stakeholders.

Test Agility Review

The final phase involves weekly meetings with the stakeholders to review and assess the progress against milestones.

Conclusion

Today, the agile methodology in testing has become a necessity in the testing process of the life cycle of software development. Once it becomes viable in the system, it must be complemented with more customer engagement and testing code. To take it to system review, the code must be clean and efficient enough. 

Most of the companies have already started implementing the agile testing methodology. Some of the names include Cisco, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Phillips, Sky, Vistaprint, and more. So if you have not implemented it yet, it is high time to adopt agile testing to reap the competitive benefits.

With this, we have come to the end of our article. We hope you now understand what Agile methodology is with the methodologies of agile testing and why it has become a necessity in the world of software testing.

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