Testing is a rapidly growing field. While it is broadly accepted that every field of software testing should be agile and embrace an iterative development model, few people understand the underlying concepts and practices that make this possible. The benefits of agile testing are:
- Shortening the development cycle by using test automation
- Increasing confidence in the testing
- Decreasing the effort of testing
- Organized process for verifying product features
In this article, we will explain agile testing, its disadvantages, and best practices for project managers and QA specialists.
What is agile testing?
Traditional testing methodologies such as waterfall testing ( see Figure 1) are sequential processes. Developers hand over the project to the QA team for testing however as the product grows the number of testing required increases drastically and causes the QA team to struggle. The project owner has to decide between delaying the release or cutting back on testing. A buggy product can have substantial effects on a company as users will tend to abandon or use the product less.
On the other hand, agile testing is a continuous process that can be created at the beginning of the project and incorporate development and testing. Agile testing can speed up the development of a software product via automation, while also reducing the time it takes to write test cases. They can allow an organization to test and verify new features faster than before, causing the overall development cycle of software products to shorten. Once the set of test cases, bugs, and other information is integrated with your existing bug-tracking system, they can provide a flexible process for software QA.
Figure 1. Waterfall testing
10 Principles of agile testing
To increase the chance of success in agile testing, agile testers and executives can follow the following 10 principles that are mentioned in “A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams”.
- Provide continuous feedback
- Deliver value to the customer
- Enable face-to-face communication.
- Have courage
- Keep it simple
- Practice continuous improvement
- Respond to change
- Focus on people
4 Steps of agile testing strategies
1- Iteration 0
Initial set-up tasks are done in the iteration 0 step before the development begins. No testing is done in this step but the foundation of the project is identified in this stage. Tasks in this step are:
- Finding testers
- Installing testing tools
- Design the testing strategy
- Describe the primary criteria and use cases that will influence the trade-offs in the design
- Risk Identification
- Building the project’s scope & business case
2- Construction iterations
An increment of the solution is built during this phase through a series of iterations. The majority of the testing is done in this step. The agile team uses the prioritized requirement technique when working on construction iterations. With each iteration, they implement the most crucial requirements that are still on the list of work items.
There are 2 types of testing involved in this phase:
This test focuses on verifying if the requirements of stakeholders are met by the developed system. There are 2 types of confirmatory testing:
- Developer testing: Combination of unit testing and service integration testing. Unit testing is conducted to ensure that each unit of the code performs as intended.
- Agile acceptance testing: Combination of functional testing and acceptance testing that is performed together by both the developers and stakeholders.
This test aims to detect issues that the confirmatory team skipped or ignored. Investigative testing includes dealing with:
3- Transition phase
In this stage marketing of the new release should start. End users, support, and operation staff must be trained and the team should produce user documentation, do backup and restoration, and finish the system. Extensive testing can be done in this stage such as :
- Beta testing
- Acceptance testing
- Full system testing
- Endgame exploratory testing
Also tasks such as :
- Product fine-tuning
- Product rework
- Solving serious defect
This can be done in this step to make the product ready for production.
The product moves to the production stage to ensure that it is productive and useful to the users.
Tests that can be run in this stage are:
- User acceptance testing,
- Synthetic user testing
- Disaster recovery testing
The Agile Testing Quadrants
Agile testing quadrants are thought of as a tool or guidebook that breaks down the entire agile testing technique into four fundamental quadrants (see Figure 2). Agile Testing Quadrants assist the entire team in communicating and quickly delivering a high-quality product. Agile Testing Quadrants make the entire testing process relatively simple to grasp, allowing the entire team to work on the product productively.
Quadrants are numbered arbitrarily and they are not based on any order.
Figure 2. Agile testing quadrants
This quadrant is associated with technology-driven and automation testing. It covers areas such:
This quadrant focuses on the quality of the test so the developer’s involvement is high. This enables obtaining Immediate feedback to improve the code quality easily. The tests in this quadrant are performed to support the team.
PULSE is an automated AI-based API testing tool that is developed by Testifi and can be used in agile testing and development. It reduces the testing effort and cost by +50% and allows for detailed API documentation. Companies such as BMW, Vodafone, and Nokia use Tesifi’s services.
This quadrant is associated with business-driven test cases. It involves both manual and automation testing. It covers areas such as:
- Functional testing
- Story testing
- Pair testing
This quadrant focuses on the business requirements so testers interact with customers substantially to be able to create test cases. The tests in this quadrant are performed to support the team and customers.
This quadrant is associated with business-driven test cases. It involves manual testing. It covers areas such as :
- Pair testing with customers
- Exploratory testing
- Usability testing
- User acceptance testing
- Collaborative testing
- Alpha & beta testing
This quadrant focuses on providing feedback to quadrants 1 and 2 and is conducted in order to criticize the product.
This quadrant is associated with technology-driven test cases. It covers non-functional areas such as :
- Performance testing
- Load testing
- Stress testing
- Maintainability testing
- Infrastructure testing
- Data migration testing
- Security testing
This quadrant focuses on delivering the final product to the customers.
5 Disadvantages of agile testing
- Unclear hierarchy can cause confusion and conflict
- Limited documentation
- Not suitable for small and long-term projects.
- Hard to measure progress in the early stages as delivery happens in increments but the progress should be tracked across cycles
Recommendation: Not all of the disadvantages of agile testing can be mitigated as they are an inherent part of agile testing. However certain actions can be taken to decrease the impact of these disadvantages such as:
- Assigning a highly skilled project manager should be able to make the final decision at the end of the day.
- Limiting the time of meetings and non-productive interactions in order to reduce the time constraints on team members.
- If the project is small or spreads for a long period of time, using agile testing might not be the best approach. You should use other approaches such as waterfall testing.
- Top 9 Metrics That Measure Your Software Testing Efficiency
- Top 20 Test Automation Statistics QA Specialists must Know
- Top 10 Best Practices for Software Testing
To learn more regarding agile testing you can reach us:
To understand the latest information about on automation testing, download our whitepaper:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
To stay up-to-date on B2B tech & accelerate your enterprise:Follow on
Next to Read
Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.