How Acceptance-Test-Driven Development (ATDD) Can Transform Your Agile Team

by Thijs Kok, on November 30, 2023

TestMonitor Blog #66

Summary: This article highlights acceptance-test-driven development (ATDD) as a methodology that fosters collaboration, improves understanding of system requirements, and enhances focus on crucial customer-driven features.

Software development is all about pulling together developers' skills, talents, and experiences to find innovative ways to solve problems.

Often, these are problems that have frustrated potential customers for some time. Effective software development can solve these problems, or even introduce an entirely new way of performing a task.

In any case, no matter how you approach it, the software delivered needs to actually solve these problems and do so in a reliable, intuitive way.

One way to ensure that your software meets all the requirements of agile development is with acceptance-test-driven development (ATDD).

So just what is ATDD, and how can your team take advantage of its benefits?

What is acceptance-test-driven development?

ATDD is a software development methodology that fosters collaboration between developers, testers, and business stakeholders during the design stage.

Although it includes the word “testing,” ATDD is less focused on testing and more focused on the design and requirement aspects of software development.

More specifically, ATDD centers on creating fully automated end-user acceptance tests during the design stage, which can demonstrate how software is supposed to work. These tests can also function as benchmarks to determine if the software and code meet primary customer expectations.

What are the benefits of acceptance-test-driven development in agile?

There are many software development philosophies out there, so why should your team consider introducing ATDD?

Some of the benefits of this approach include:

  • Enhanced collaboration and communication between potential end users and developers, especially as the effort is just beginning
  • Improved understanding of the system’s requirements earlier in the design stage
  • Increased opportunities to build and refine development requirements and related test cases
  • Heightened focus on the features and functionalities that are most important to customers

These benefits increase focus on the features that drive the software development effort, allowing teams to be more productive and effective. 

How can your team get started with acceptance-test-driven development?

Modern software development comes in many different flavors, and some of them focus heavily on iterative testing and customer interaction. However, only A-TDD emphasizes working with potential customers to develop test cases before coding occurs.

If you decide to adopt ATDD for your team, here are some key ways to make the transition a bit easier:

  • Ensure your team members and potential customers have a firm understanding of best practices with test case development, including acceptance criteria.
  • Implement a structured way to document and track test cases throughout the development, feedback, and acceptance stages so they can be linked back to the original requirements. 
  • Take advantage of a platform that makes creating, storing, and sequencing test cases simple so more focus can be placed on developing strong test cases.
  • Use a platform that allows for easy communication with testers throughout the process, especially when providing feedback and tracking bugs. 

Get a test management tool for all approaches.

ATDD is a great way to engage customers in the development process. However, to fully take advantage of the benefits of their participation and to ease the administrative burden on both sides, organizations can leverage the collaborative features woven into today’s leading test management tools. This is especially true for those features  that ease communication, personalize their experience, and provide for intuitive interaction.

TestMonitor was specifically designed with features like these in mind as well as the tools needed to create, develop, and sequence test cases and test runs, all within one simple and customizable platform .

Want to learn how to take your organization's quality assurance testing to the next level?

Then make sure to check out TestMonitor’s guide, The Complete Guide to Next-Level User Acceptance Testing.

Download The Complete Guide to Next-Level User Acceptance Testing

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