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The agile testing methodology has gained a foothold in software development in recent years, replacing older, more structured methods of testing. Agile testing allows developers and testers to work collaboratively with each other, with other departments, and with end users. Agile testing is flexible by design so that testing teams can shift left throughout the software development lifecycle.
But what exactly is an agile testing strategy and how can teams successfully transition to this mode of operation within their existing software testing strategy?
In this blog, we will answer those questions and explore ways to develop a successful agile testing strategy for your organization.
An agile testing strategy is an approach to software development in which testers collaborate with customers, end users, and teams across the development pipeline to reach an optimal outcome.
With the agile methodology, processes are ever-evolving based on new findings—and outdated practices are phased out accordingly. In an agile testing environment, solutions continually evolve based on collaboration and trial and error. Traditional methods of testing usually involve a structured, step-by-step approach to development with little room for flexibility or innovation. These older methods, such as the Waterfall method which begins each project with a clearly defined set of processes and roles and sticks to them throughout, do not consider the likelihood that new findings will come to light throughout the software development lifecycle, making shifting left more of a challenge.
Cross-functional teams are a hallmark of an agile testing strategy. In the agile methodology, every team member is responsible for the ultimate success of the product, so developing an agile testing strategy is not a task for testers alone—testers collaborate with other departments, developers, customers, and businessowners alike during all phases of the development pipeline.
Learn about using tools to find code vulnerabilities, ensure standards compliance, and reduce time-to-market early in the development process with Perforce's Shift Left 101 >>
An agile testing strategy goes hand in hand with continuous testing, a software testing methodology that identifies risk at all stages of the development cycle, allowing teams to shift left as needed. With agile testing, testers work continuously rather than sequentially.
Agile methodology expert Lisa Crispin developed a diagram of the agile testing process, divided into four quadrants known as the Agile Testing Quadrants, to serve as a guide to testers and developers looking to adopt an agile testing strategy.
The below diagram shows the four quadrants of an agile testing strategy:
It should be noted that this diagram is meant to be a guide only—not a step-by-step rulebook. Testers and developers need not approach each quadrant sequentially. The chart is a helpful model for cross-functional teams to use as they plan and execute tests.
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Now that we have explored agile testing more in depth, here are some components of the agile testing methodology that testers can adopt to successfully develop their own agile testing strategy.
Communication and collaboration are key to agile testing, as testers and developers must work together on an ongoing basis. Testing teams also work closely with end users to determine their goals for the application or software. Testers should therefore initiate and maintain communication with end users and other teams throughout the agile testing process. Testers should get to know their domain expert and other key contributors in order to understand the goals of the application.
In the early stages of application development, testers should prioritize the most important end user needs and test cases, working with analysts and developers to devise the most relevant test cases. As the development process unfolds, testers should revisit their initial priorities to ensure that they both met their goals and understand what cases to test next.
Related Reading: Learn how to execute smarter and faster tests with Perfecto >>
Automation is an invaluable tool for agile testing teams, allowing tests to run automatically while the application is in development. Test automation saves time and resources and helps ensure that bugs are caught early, allowing teams to shift left accordingly.
Related Reading: Download and read the Agile Development Methodologies for Testers e-Book >>
An agile testing strategy is the preferred testing method for testing teams today. An agile testing strategy provides flexibility to shift left, allowing teams to deliver higher quality applications faster. Agile testing also allows organizations to deliver features and applications that are of high value and relevance to their customers.
With Perfecto, teams can leverage a platform that fits seamlessly into an agile testing strategy so that they can develop and release high-quality apps with ease. Perfecto also helps teams achieve more stable automation.
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