Agile Software Testing Guide

Methodology, Tools, and Processes for Better Software

Introduction

The agile methodology allows teams to harness the power of regular feedback and short, iterative development cycles to build momentum and refine their efforts to maximize customer value. As elements of functionality and design are completed, developers can quickly gather feedback that supports DevOps and integration testing.

However, finding the right balance between necessary software testing and the efficiency of agile can be complicated. This balance can be especially difficult to strike as a product nears completion and more specific tests need to be conducted, such as security, performance, and usability tests.

In these situations, your team can use the principles, tips, and best practices woven into this e-book. After reading this resource, you will walk away with a strong understanding of:

  • Why regular testing is critical in your agile sprints.
  • What best practices and tools you can use to make the testing process consistent, efficient, and thorough.
  • How the TestMonitor platform is designed to facilitate agile software testing, no matter how big the portfolio or complex the development methodology.

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Agile software testing guide

Chapter 1

Why You Need to Incorporate Testing into Agile

Although the “Agile Manifesto” doesn’t explicitly mention the role of formal testing, its value and purpose are implied:

“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”

In other words, the core of agile is the value of continuous feedback, which ensures an end product closely matches customer requirements. Because of the iterative and incremental development and testing process baked into each sprint, teams can build a product that is fit for purpose even as more and more requirements are integrated.

In addition to helping software developers hit their targets, integrating agile methodology in testing provides several other key benefits. These include:

  • Reducing the chance of costly reworks later in the development process.
  • Helping teams conduct unit- and feature-focused testing with design-wide tests, such as security and load tests.
  • Increasing the number and types of defects that can be found through other testing methods, such as user acceptance testing (UAT).
  • Boosting collaboration between the development team and external end-user testers.
  • Helping teams push the limits of their software design abilities by providing the feedback they need to balance innovation with functionality.

Chapter 2

Tips to Make Software Testing Easier and More Effective in Agile

Experienced agile developers and quality assurance (QA) professionals know that the scope of software testing expands throughout a project, typically building from unit testing to integration to system-wide evaluations.

At the same time, the number of testers grows and involvement from customers increases, resulting in a similar growth in the difficulty of writing test cases and managing test runs. This complexity is amplified when teams use both manual and automated software testing. This double-pronged approach takes more time to orchestrate, but it can result in more rigorous testing and works well in a geographically dispersed environment.

This is why having the right elements and best practices is crucial. To maximize the impact and efficiency of your agile testing process, you need to:

Engage the right people.

In addition to QA professionals, identify a group of potential end-user testers that represent each stakeholder group of your project to assist with product evaluation throughout the development lifecycle, especially with UAT. These end users can also evaluate and shape the stories that define the development sprints as the software nears completion.

Utilize the right agile development tools.

Modern test management platforms make writing tests, recording results, and communicating with testers easy and personalized. Industry-leading platforms make it simple to track defects and issues through to resolution and provide your organization with a consistent structure to organize, prioritize, and schedule tests into test runs.

Utilize a consistent agile testing process when developing test cases.

There is more to writing an impactful test case than presenting a tester with a yes-or-no question about whether a feature is present. Follow test case writing best practices by including:

  • The data inputs needed to validate the system.
  • The tester actions needed to evaluate the particular function(s) or workflow(s).
  • Any software functions or data preconditions and expected postconditions.
  • A logical naming convention that allows tests to be organized by module or testing focus.

Have dedicated test environments.

Test environments provide a contained place for testers to run their test cases, so you should replicate a production environment as accurately as possible. Try to include hardware and network configurations similar to what a potential end user will experience. Many organizations choose to create test environments as virtualized snapshots of the in-development environment to ease the administrative setup of the testing process.

Utilize agile-tailored testing methods.

Although the use of the agile methodology in testing is relatively new compared to the traditional waterfall approach, teams have created several testing methods to refocus how testing can be executed and viewed during development.

Depending on needs, one or more of these methods can be used:

  • Test-Driven Development (TDD): This ensures software meets customer requirements by having test cases written before any development is conducted. Development is then done unit by unit to meet the test cases.
  • Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD): This is a collaborative process in which users, product developers, and the product manager create business function-focused testing standards that align with end-user stories.
  • Behavior-Driven Development (BDD): This method defines product functionality by creating specifications or examples for specific software behaviors, scenarios, or outcomes that need to be produced by the code.
  • Exploratory Testing: This method gives testers the ability to navigate through software in development without test cases to discover, investigate, and evaluate product design and functionality.

 

 

Chapter 3

TestMonitor Is Ready to Deliver

Every software development project is unique in its scale, functionality, target, and timing, but the power that an intuitive test management tool like TestMonitor can provide is universal.

Scrum Masters will appreciate having streamlined workloads and the ability to automate manual tasks, whereas teams will benefit from a host of other features and tools native to a platform designed for their testing needs.

Some of the most popular TestMonitor features include:

  • Intuitive portals that help testers focus on their work and capture their results, increasing the ease of performing tests and the frequency of testing.
  • A secure, user-friendly design that helps both new and experienced testers use TestMonitor to its full potential.
  • The ability to create and store test cases in a test case library, reducing the administrative burden of setting up tests and helping teams adhere to best practices.
  • The ability to generate and share built-in reports to communicate testing status and results with stakeholders.
  • A cloud-enabled platform that provides the flexibility needed to reach testers when and where they choose to work, no matter what operating system, device, or browser they use.
  • Native integrations with other software development tools, helping boost team productivity and reduce the need for rework or data duplication.

Chapter 4

Elevate Your Agile Software Testing

Although it may be limited, the practice of software testing in the agile development methodology begins in the very first sprint and continues throughout. From exploratory testing to UAT, security testing, and performance testing, agile software testing relies on developers, QA professionals, and end-user testers to ensure that quality standards and requirements are met.

But without the right tools and preparation, harnessing this variety and frequency of testing can quickly become complex and time-consuming, limiting agile’s signature characteristic: efficiency.

That’s why more software development teams and QA professionals are turning to platforms like TestMonitor. The platform is designed to help teams spend more time on testing activities and less on administrative tasks that bog them down. No matter the size or scope of your software projects or where your team works, TestMonitor is ready to bring the right balance of simplicity and structure that agile software testing requires.

Ready to get hands-on with our industry-leading test management tool? Then click here to get started with a 14-day free trial of TestMonitor!

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Agile software testing guide