What is Agile Testing?

You might be familiar with the word “Agility” — the ability to move fast. Agile Testing is based on this concept of agility. And Agile, in software development, is a project management approach which involves breaking projects into three primary phases: plan, execute, evaluate. These three phases are performed quickly thus, you can move fast in Agile.

But agile, as opposed to contrary belief, is not isolated to development. Even QA teams can be agile in their approach. And in this blog, we are going to provide a complete rundown of agile testing, it’s importance, drawbacks, and more.

So, let’s dive into it.

What is Agile Testing Methodology?

Agile Methodologies break down tests into smaller more manageable chunks. These bite-sized chunks focus on specific user stories and requirements.

In agile methodology, testing happens throughout the development process and not just at the end, a process which leads to quicker feedback and faster releases.

Agile is also fully compatible with DevOps practice and you can also use automated testing tools with this approach. In addition to this, agile testing also supports continuous testing, with which bugs can be found sooner and this will avoid last minute surprises while release.

What Does an Agile Tester Do?

The primary job of an agile tester is to collaborate with testers and developers throughout the development process.

An agile tester works closely with the developer so, the whole testing process is developer driven. There is also continuous communication between testers and developers to stay informed about testing progress and identifying defects.

Aside from these, an agile tester does have to perform all other usual tasks of any normal tester which includes things like writing and executing test cases and being involved in other aspects of quality assurance.

5 Principles of Agile Testing

Agile has five core principles that make it one of the most popular testing methodologies in the world right now. Let us discuss these principles in brief.

Early and Continuous testing

In agile testing, the software undergoes testing early in the development process. The developers and the QA engineers work in tandem to ensure testing is done in parallel to development, which helps in early bug detection.

Team Involvement

In agile software development, every member of the testing team is responsible for ensuring the quality of the product. In addition, the onus is also on developers, product owners and project managers to ensure bugs are dealt with promptly.

Frequent Deliveries

Agile works with measured deliverables. Everyone involved works in 2 weeks sprint and has something presentable at the end of this time. So, testing also happens in 2-week cycles with each cycle addressing a particular module.

Multi-department Collaboration

It is important to collaborate closely with team members (developers, project managers, and stakeholders) in an agile project. And this ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Flexible Approach

Agile testing is flexible, it doesn’t take strict routes. So, your team can change your priorities midway through testing, reassess and come back with the findings.

Primary Agile Testing Activities

Agile testing prioritizes continuous quality throughout the development process. This is achieved through several key activities:

Requirement Analysis: Testers collaborate with business analysts and product owners to thoroughly grasp the new feature’s functionalities and expectations.

Test Design: Based on the requirements, testers meticulously design test cases that comprehensively evaluate the feature’s behavior under various conditions.

Test Execution: Testers meticulously execute the designed test cases, meticulously recording any deviations from expected behavior.

Defect Management: When issues arise, testers meticulously document and report them, collaborating with developers to ensure timely resolution.

Release Management: Testers actively participate in planning and executing the release of the new feature, ensuring a smooth and successful delivery.

By integrating these activities throughout the development lifecycle, agile testing fosters continuous feedback, early defect detection, and ultimately, high-quality software.

Skills for Agile Testers

As an agile tester, you will need a decent set of hard and soft skills. Here are a few:

An agile tester must be great at communicating effectively with all team members and they should also understand business requirements.

As a tester you need to have strong technical skills like the ability to understand coding and technologies.

Testers need to be able to identify and solve problems logically. They should also be able to think creatively and come up with solutions to new problems.

Agile testers need to be able to work in a team environment. They should be flexible, adaptable, and be able to handle pressure. 

Benefits of Agile Testing

Agile testing offers a range of advantages that benefit both developers and customers. By integrating testing throughout the development process, bugs are identified and addressed earlier, resulting in improved product quality and fewer issues in the final release.

This iterative approach also enables faster release cycles, allowing teams to deliver new features and functionalities to customers more frequently. Additionally, agile testing promotes better scope management.

Since agile testing lets us prioritize features and functionalities within each development cycle, teams can focus on delivering the critical aspects to ensure efficient utilization of resources and time.

Ultimately, these combined benefits lead to increased customer satisfaction. By delivering reliable products and maintaining a steady flow of updates, organizations can build stronger relationships with their customers and foster higher retention rates.

Key Aspects of Agile Testing

While using agile testing, there are certain key aspects you need to be aware of.

Let us discuss them in detail.

Definition of Done

In agile, “done” is more than just a word in a checklist – it’s a shared understanding between developers, testers, and other stakeholders about what needs to be accomplished for a user story or feature to be considered complete.

This includes passing all relevant tests, fixing any defects, and ensuring the functionality meets acceptance criteria. A clear definition of done prevents misunderstandings, avoids rework, and keeps everyone on the same page.

Dedicated Test Case Management Tool

While spreadsheets might work for small projects, a dedicated tool like Helix ALM offers significant benefits. It allows you to create, store, and manage all your test cases in one place.

You can link them to specific user stories, track their execution status, and view results in a centralized dashboard. This improves organization, simplifies collaboration, and provides valuable insights into testing progress.

Create, Execute, and Track Tests

Agile testing thrives on efficiency. Utilize your chosen tool to create different types of tests, from manual to automated.

The tool you choose should also facilitate easy execution of tests, allowing you to run them individually or in pre-defined suites.

Monitor pass/fail rates, identify trends, and stay on top of any emerging issues.

Report Test Status

In agile testing, transparency is key. Regularly generate reports that clearly communicate the status of your testing efforts. These reports should highlight key metrics like test coverage, defect rates, and overall progress towards completion.

Share these reports with developers, product owners, and other stakeholders to keep everyone informed and ensure alignment.

Final Words

Agile testing offers a dynamic and adaptable approach to software quality assurance. Integrating testing throughout development, agile testing allows you to continuously refine your product, identify issues early, and deliver exceptional value to your customers.

  • Remember, the key to successful agile testing lies in:
  • Clear communication and collaboration
  • Using tools for test case management and
  • Continuous monitoring and reporting


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