Implementing Agile in Software Testing

Agile is a collection of principles and values that have paved the way for modern software development and testing. The technique replaced tedious and time-consuming waterfall, introduced a considerable change to how software teams test applications in a market filled Over the past two decades, the technique has been used widely used in different industries to maximize outputs, enhance motivation and productivity, and decrease the time to market.

Despite the benefits of Agile, not all companies implement the agile principles in their work. One of the reasons behind this is that adopting and implementing Agile Project Management is easier said than done. 

Although successful incorporating Agile in an existing workflow is difficult, leveraging best practices can smooth the entire process. In this article, we will discuss the different types of agile project management and give important tips for implementing Agile.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding Different Types of the Agile Methodology
  2. How to Implement Agile in Testing Process
  3. Performance Lab’s experience

Understanding Different Types of the Agile Methodology

Since agile software testing became popular, many agile methods have emerged. Here are two of the most well known agile techniques used in our software testing services company.

Scrum

Scrum is a branch of the agile methodology that focuses on delivering business value in the shortest possible time. The goal of scrum is to rapidly develop, test and making improvements with the help of user feedback.

The Scrum Framework is excellent for managing projects that are highly complex and unpredictable and where requirements are more likely to change. Therefore, the scrum methodology is best implemented in projects where you need space for changing requirements and need value delivering software urgently.

It has become especially popular in software testing thanks to its proven productivity and  simplicity.

agile testing

Kanban

Similar to Scrum, Kanban is an agile methodology that promotes continuous delivery without overburdening the testing team. Kanban is a Japanese word that translates to “billboard” in English.

The term was first coined by Toyota, and since then, it has been integrated into the field of project management, where software teams use it to this day. Kanban uses a catalog approach to help manage the team’s entire workflow with the help of a visual board and Kanban cards for dividing tasks. This board helps managers handle critical tasks in a centralized manner, eliminating bottlenecks created from a lack of clarity. 

How to Implement Agile in Testing Process

Here are important steps for implementing the Agile methodology:

Define Your Vision in the Initial Strategy Meeting

Before you begin an agile project, it’s needed to clarify who is the target customer, the nature of your client’s business, the name and category of the product, the key features and benefits of the product, and its difference from competitive alternatives.

Even if the end-goal of the project is not to build a product, you can still adjust the goals to match your project’s goals. This meeting clarifies the key elements of the project, so it needs to have key stakeholders such as product owners, managers, directors, and executives. You can break down this meeting to different time-periods, but ideally, you should invest 4 -16 hours to get your message across the board.

Building the Product Roadmap

After the strategy has been validated, the product owner needs to translate the vision discussed in the meeting into a product roadmap. The product roadmap is a high-level view of the requirements, supported by an estimated timeframe.

In this step, we don’t scrupulously plan every step of the project, but simply identify, prioritize, and estimate how much effort and time each component of the project will take. The ideal way to create an effective roadmap is to create short milestones along with the entire plan.

Each of these milestones needs to contain 5 key pieces of information, such as Name, Date, Goal, Features, and Metrics. Although the Product Owner creates the roadmap, he or she must take input from key stakeholders and representatives from development teams, testing, marketing, sales, and support.

It’s important to remember that these roadmap meetings need to be created directly after your strategy meeting and before you start planning out sprints.

how to implement agile

Continue with a Release Plan

Once you have a strategy and a plan, it’s time to create defined timelines. At this point, the product owner develops a high-level timetable for testing process. Agile projects have multiple releases, so product owners must prioritize the features they need immediately. This can vary depending on the length of your sprints and the complexity of your projects. Usually, a release plan takes 3–5 sprints to complete.

A release plan involves everyone who is a part of the working team. Therefore, everyone from the product owner, project managers, and team members is required in this meeting. 

Planning Sprints

Naturally, the release plan leads to a bout of sprint planning. Here the product owner and the testing team converge to decide which specific tasks and goals must be carried out first. 

These sprint planning sessions produce a list of backlog items. This meeting needs to take place at the beginning of every sprint cycle. For instance, if going with weekly sprints, it’s important to do a planning session every Monday (or any other day you decided).

Use Daily Stand-Ups to Keep Your Team on Track

A daily stand-up is a fifteen-minute meeting that needs to be conducted to ensure that there are no roadblocks within the project. It helps track your team’s progress by monitoring the work done each day and assigning new tasks for a given day.

Although these meetings annoy some team members, they help maintain a strong line of communication between different teams and their managers. It also answers to the needs of agile project management that depend on reacting quickly to issues and strengthening cross-team collaboration.

Completion of Sprint Cycle and Sprint Review

You have to review progress and identify what your team has achieved in terms of outlined goals. Firstly, it’s important to check whether all requirements were met.

It is up to the product managers to accept or reject functionalities completed during this period. If something has gone wrong, the product owner must know why it happened. At the same time, they have to adjust the next sprint so their team can hit the next targets. Since Agile focuses on continuous learning and iterations, it’s natural to have a few hiccups in the beginning.

The sprint review meeting should only last an hour or two at max. During the meeting, all the key stakeholders, as well as your entire team needs to be present so you can check progress transparently and allow all parties to voice their concerns.

Implementing agile

The Cycle Continues

Agile project management functions on a step-by-step approach facilitated by the framework for communication and accountability. Once you complete a single sprint, it’s time to overview which features have been completed and what the team needs to do next.

The product owner must consider what they need to change in the initial timeline and vision of the project. You can take lessons from a completed sprint and work towards a solution suited for your entire team. This retrospective is an extension of the review, so you have to take insights from the rest of your team.

Unless you get feedback on completed, it’s difficult to plan new features or fixes. The cycle of feedback and increments must continue until the project completes.

Rather than working through the backlog, the team needs to utilize feedback from products and see how their customers interact with it. 

Performance Lab’s experience

Performance Lab is a testing service that has vast experience handling agile-driven projects successfully. With our experienced and dedicated team of 400 specialists, we can ensure that your testing team can face the dynamic challenges of Agile Methodology. Our testers effectively prioritize process and respond quickly to changes.  We have extensive experience in project management, we have learned many lessons from our work and can bring you only the best practices.

To learn more about the company, feel free to visit our website at Performance Lab.

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