Continuous change and the complexity of businesses have necessitated the IT organizations and especially QA organizations make detailed and periodic analysis of their process and delivery capabilities. This necessary ensures that all the possible times the QA organizations, and its systems and processes, are relevant and available to support the business requirements. There are many maturity models to help this process, but they are yet not comprehensive enough to provide today’s dynamic businesses the needed flexibility and power of customization.
Agile is the word which has proved everything wrong. Since agile came into existence, its methodologies have introduced best practices in software development. However, there is a need to adopt and monitor these methodologies continuously to maximize its benefits. The research has focused on adaptableness, suitability and software maturity model called Agile Maturity Model for software development environments. If you have gone agile and have been relatively successful with its methodologies. So, how do you know how well your delivery teams are doing? And how do you continuously adopt or monitor these agile testing methodologies to improve your test practices? When things get tough, how do organizations handle the challenges without reverting to old practices?
The path to high-performance agile testing isn’t that easy or quick. Before adapting to agile organizations need to have a look at the below-stated keys, which may help them to understand more about the mistakes, adjustments, and successes, and how to react to real-world contexts while adopting agile and where you need to focus on improving.
Key 1 – Transforming your Team
When organizations are transforming into agile they need to transform their teams’ first. Having mix is always proven to be the best strategy. Nowadays there is a huge need for organizations to have a mix of a technical and programming expert in every team they have. For this, every organization is following a practice of hiring or developing a team with these set of rules like, to have all programmers or highly technical testers, a mix of manual, domain -centric and with more technical skills, and some with programming or scripting skills or with soft and collaborative skills. This helps the organizations to inbuilt strong teams in every process they do.
Key 2 – 100% Automation Needed
The need for automation in agile testing is more as agile ensures continuous testing over continuous progress. You simply need to have a strategy and pursue automation where it makes sense. This helps you to divide your test strategies into parts of the backlogs and work over it every sprint. As there many test automation tools, you can select the Open Source tools that complement agile automation development. As agile test automation is like a pyramid for overall test strategies.
Key 3 – Developers & Automation
The whole QA team should design, write & run all the test automation and should be responsible for automation activities. Which means developers need to minimally attend the unit level and participate in any framework or re-use the development. As it helps to extend into your build and continuously integrate the systems. But to do this, automation should be wired into Continuous integration, dashboards, trending, etc. and make all to use.
Key 4 – Developers Testing
Developers can’t test their own code, as they are not independent enough, nor skilled enough to do it properly. So organizations need to have proper teams in place to stop stereotyping team members, their strengths, and abilities. So that developer can absolutely test their own codes as some will be easy than others. To avoid such scenarios a developer should be paired with testers to help them test appropriately when needed.
Key 5 –Test, Planning & Scripts
When you are moving to agile, you need to plan your tests, as test plans help the testing team to focus on the risk-based testing requirements within every iteration and across every release they do. So that the Scripts (test cases) help formalize and drive testing.
Key 6 –Testing within the Sprint
When you simply need to run hundred percent of the tests within the limitations of each Sprint in agile. This is rarely possible in most contexts, as you first need a high degree of automation support. And most of the agile teams adopt some sort of risk-based testing approach for within the sprints.
Key 7 – Exploratory Testing
In agile contexts, there is no need to have session-based exploratory testing. Because ET and SBET are beautiful complements to agile testing. Which help to encourage pairing and collaboration across teams and functions. Defining new and more valuable test cases is easy, and get quality and usability feedback fast.
Key 8 – Role of Testers
Testers should foster on whole team view towards quality – focusing on testing more and quality practices & the customers. This help them serve as guides for the team; testing the hard bits. Testers need to facilitate exploratory testing sessions to find more interesting and valuable tests.
Key 9 – Developer to Tester Workflow
There is usually a quite late hand-off from developers to testers in every sprint. And this is becoming quite simple the way the things should be in software development. Scrum should be in proper place as teams need to swarm on their work, as flow & throughput matter the most.
Key 10 – Managing Agile Testers
The head of functional testing should be in charge of deciding how, who, when, etc. for the test team. He needs functional leadership within the agile teams. However, it should be focused on quality, practices, strategy & coaching and handling impediments and escalation. Encouraging transparency and transforming metrics and reporting. Need to support & protect the teams, and encourage risk-taking, innovation and creativity.
Key 11 – Test Metrics
Test metrics need to be updated and should change immediately, and be available to move forward reporting everything exactly as you have before. This can be from QA and Test-centric and towards Team-centric metric – value, throughput, quality, and team. Should stop reporting out on testing as it is irrelevant and this can effect planning as well estimation, progress, risk, etc. This practice needs to be followed when you are moving to agile because the four key areas you will be measuring are Value, quality Throughput & predictability, and Team.
Key 12 – Continuous Improvement
Whenever you are generally stuck in any approaches, then you need to just accept them and do the best you can. This helps you in Unceasing Improvement in everyone’s responsibility to engage, suggest, take ownership of current results, explore root causes, etc. As active participation in your teams, Retrospectives is a key to guide quality, testing, and customer-centric enhancements.
Key 13 – Agile, Requirements – The product Backlog
You can’t start testing until the requirements are complete or stable, no matter how agile you are. When adopting agile, incompleteness and ambiguity need to become your friend and ally. You need to work with your product owners and customers to help define the requirements.
Organizations are increasingly going agile to achieve improved quality, faster time to market at reduced costs. For more details on agile testing, get in touch with our Gallop’s Agile Test Specialists who can guide you well about the keys and realities of agile testing maturity and help you truly realize the potential of an agile environment.