Most companies these days are adopting Agile methodologies for their product development. With them, development teams are building software in short increments of code sprints, which allows those companies to progress with their development projects more smoothly. As per this report, agile projects are 28% more successful than projects with traditional approaches.
Embracing agile means building cross-functional teams with members such as developers, testers, product owners, and scrum masters. But how does agile affect QA? Contrary to the waterfall model, in which QA was the last part of the process, the tester is much more involved in agile development. The role of QA becomes less repetitive and more exploratory, as the professional has to take more initiatives and display availability.
An agile approach can also solve functionality, process, and syntax issues much faster than the traditional approach. This also allows for better communication between employees and improves the overall stability of the project. You can adapt your QA to agile yourself, but it’s always better to engage QA engineers that have both knowledge and expertise. Companies such as BairesDev provide full-cycle QA testing that you can leverage to create a quality product.
Yet, in case you want to do it yourself, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your QA strategy is adapted to agile.
- Define the exact process
The agile methodology doesn’t fit automatically over QA. You have to understand and adapt it to your business requirements. Also, you should include the agile process as soon as possible to avoid wasting time. The whole approach should be fast and effective. Agile components such as code sprints, project viability estimation, prioritized list for project backlog, etc., should be added to the plan. All processes should be result-oriented and should point towards a single goal. Many teams may work on particular projects, but adherence to guidelines and a single result approach allows you to better position yourself for the best practices.
- Testing in sprints
Instead of phases, you can perform testing in sprints to ensure that the QA team doesn’t miss anything. Sprint testing also allows the QA team to identify and correct issues more quickly than with traditional approaches.QA team can also test after every integration of a new feature or specification. You can fix minor issues quickly, and there is no need for extensive unit testing. You can also take inspiration from previous tests to plan future tests. Through this, you can better plan and implement your tests instead of starting from scratch.This technique also helps with setting priorities during a time crunch. It encourages teamwork and allows scrum masters to set roadmaps according to stakeholder discussions and strategies.
- Daily sessions
Instead of just testers, both developers and testers should participate in the QA process. They should have daily iterative sessions where they plan out how the testing should occur. This has many advantages. You’ll reduce the unnecessary email follow-ups between both teams explaining the issue. The whole workload of QA can be divided among different teams so that instead of just QA, multiple teams work simultaneously to identify and rectify bugs as soon as possible. You can also streamline your tests and make them more effective by taking inspiration from different sources.There should be daily scrum interaction between the development and QA teams. Doing so will help both of them understand each other and better facilitate further planning. They will also understand risk and problem areas and can sidestep critical issues from their end.
- Risk analysis
Before beginning the testing planning phase, it’s always a good idea to conduct a risk analysis to understand potential pitfalls. Risk analysis helps you identify unknown risks related to your product and mitigate them at an organizational level.You can classify risks based on severity and probability of occurrence. For this, you have to collect data from various sources and determine the potential risk impact. You have to assess the probability of various risks and categorize them into low, medium, and high. Once you do that, you can move ahead with prioritizing and presenting it to the organization leaders to create an action plan to mitigate those risks.
- Testing processes
You should add both manual and automatic testing tools in your agile approach. Manual regression testing takes a long time, which most organizations don’t have when working in sprint mode. They are also prone to human errors.
To avoid this, companies use automation tools for regression analysis or in situations where changing just one parameter redefines the whole test. You can also use automation techniques for investigative analysis and fact-finding. This way, QA engineers can work on other things such as new deliveries, finding out better test cases for the product, and so on. This will reduce the time spent on fixing known issues that can be corrected automatically.
However, you should never underestimate the manual testing techniques and the power of human imagination. Automation can sometimes mess up in situations where the final output is not in the desired form. It also requires more resources to set up automation tools and train people. That said, a healthy combination of automation and manual testing should be a great approach for your agile testing methodology.
There are many ways with which agile techniques can help the QA process. They can streamline the whole process and allow you to focus on core competencies. They can also help reduce the QA team’s workload and ensure that everyone works towards QA goals, such as software quality and reliability.
Agile development provides better solutions for the organization and improves your reliability in the clients’ eyes. It also ensures that you create the solution from the consumer’s point of view. The solution that you build should provide value and should be easy to use, and you can do so by adapting your QA for agile. Sure, it might take some time, but it is a worthwhile investment.