Importance of Agile Testing in Software Development


By Shaifali Sharma

Importance of Agile Testing in Software Development

Agile methodology plays a crucial role in software development as it helps in promoting continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the SDLC of the project. The main benefit of using it is that it offers the ability to adapt to change. The “Agile Model” was based initially on four core principles, i.e., adaptive planning, early delivery, continuous improvement, and easy and quick to change. It is an arrangement of incremental and iterative process models that helps in developing the product into additional miniature pieces to help them in rapid iterations. Every iteration lasts for a fortnight, generally and requires the concurrent working of a cross-functional team in different domains like:-

   •  Planning
   •  Requirements Analysis
   •  Design
   •  Coding
   •  Unit Testing
   •  Approval Testing

The Agile Model

Every project needs to be handled differently, according to the Agile Model. The existing methods should be updated to match the project requirement. In Agile, to address the particular features for a release, numerous tasks are arranged into short time frames. It adopts an iterative approach, and after the completion of every repetition, the working software build is released. The final build has all the features as demanded by the client.

The Agile concept was incepted long ago but has gained popularity among the software testers due to its incredible flexibility and adaptability.

Agile Testing

Agile testing is different from the Waterfall method in many ways. Agile testing starts at the beginning of the project with continuous integration, that links the project development and testing. It is a continuous testing process, not sequential. It helps in delivering more-reliable predictions on the workable products in a short period. There are many agile challenges also that Agile testers have to face, but they can be handled easily by using valid and executable strategies.

Agile Model – Test Plan

The test plan in an Agile model is formulated and renewed for every release. The Agile Test Plan includes different types of testing, like testing data requirements, infrastructure, test environments, and test results, that occur in that iteration.  Apart from this, the agile testing process includes the below mentioned test plans for Agile Models:-

1.  Testing Scope
2.  Newly tested functionalities
3.  Complex features based testing
4.  Load and Performance Testing
5.  Infrastructure Consideration
6.  Mitigation or Risks Plan
7.  Resourcing
8.  Deliverables and Milestones

Agile Testing Strategies

Four grades should be cleared in the Agile Testing Life Cycle. They are as follows:-

1. Iteration 0

It is the initial stage where initial setup tasks are performed. This phase includes identifying people for testing, installation of testing tools, scheduling resources, etc. The following steps are performed at this stage:-

•   Building a business case for the project
•   Setting up the boundary conditions and the project scope
•   Describe the essential requirements and use cases that will push the  design trade-offs
•   Frame one or more candidate architectures
•   Knowing the risk
•   Cost estimation and prepare a preparatory project

2. Construction Iteration 

This step is performed after the Iteration 0 phase, and most of the testing is done under this phase. It is considered as an assortment of iterations to create an increment of the solution. Hybrid practices from XP, Scrum, Agile Modelling, and agile data are executed to complete this process successfully and provide a working system that can meet the unique requirements of the customers and stakeholders.

The Construction iteration is further classified into two parts:-

1. Confirmatory testing – to ensure that the system fulfills the purpose of the stakeholders

2. Investigative testing – to detect those problems which are skipped by the Confirmatory testing

All this offers a working system that can meet the unique requirements of the customers and stakeholders.

3. Release End Game Or Transition Phase

The central role of this phase is to deploy your system into production. It is also considered as the final testing phase, as Complete system testing and user acceptance testing is also done in this phase.

Here, the following activities are performed:-

•  Training of end-users
•  System deployment into production
•  Marketing of the product release
•  Back-up & restoration
•  Finalization of system
•  User documentation

Moreover, to complete the testing without any obstacle, it is better to start testing the product from Construction Iteration. Software testers need to work over the project’s defect stories at this stage.

4. Production

After completing the Release stage, the product is moved to the production stage, to operate and support Release X. This stage helps in a better understanding of how Agile Testing is performed. There are four agile testing quadrants into which the production stage is separated into:-

-----    Agile Quadrant I

It consists of technology-driven test cases and is executed to support the team to focus on the internal code quality. This quadrant includes:-

   •   Unit Tests
   •   Component Tests

-----    Agile Quadrant II

It concentrates on the business-driven test cases and is also executed to support the team. Following test programs take place in this phase:-

  •   Testing of possible scenarios and workflows
  •   Examination of User experience
  •   Pair testing

-----    Agile Quadrant III

It is used to deliver feedback to Quadrant I and II. Here, the test cases are designed to perform automation testing. Also, many rounds of iteration reviews are done here to build confidence in the product. Following types of testing take place in this Quadrant:-

  •   Usability Testing
  •   Exploratory Testing
  •   Pair testing with customers
  •   Collaborative testing
  •   User acceptance testing

-----    Agile Quadrant IV

This quadrant focuses on non-functional requirements such as performance, security, stability, etc. After of this quadrant, the application is built to deliver the non-functional properties and demanded value. The following types of testing are done in this phase:-

  •   Non-functional tests
  •   Security testing related to authentication and hacking
  •   Infrastructure testing
  •   Data migration testing
  •   Scalability testing
  •   Load testing

Suggested Read: Case Study on Agile Testing of Social Media Application


To conclude, we can say that the Agile model is used to test during the initial phase of the SDLC. It requires high customer involvement and testing the code as soon as it is available. The code should be stable enough to complete the process of system testing. Also, it includes Extensive regression testing to ensure that the system is bug-free and tested. But, the communication that takes place between the teams is the essential building block of the success of the agile software testing.


Shaifali Sharma

Shaifali is an ISTQB certified QA engineer, working at BugRaptors. She is a testing professional having diverse exposure in various projects and application testing with comprehensive understanding of all aspects of SDLC. She is well versed with Manual testing, Mobile application testing, performance testing, load testing, Web applications testing and able to create effective documentation related to testing like test case, test report etc.

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