How to Overcome Agile Methodology Challenges?

How to Overcome Agile Methodology Challenges? 11 Jul,2016

Ever since agile development methodologies were presented in software development, the role of QA in agile projects has changed significantly. Now there is no team of QA sitting in a corner waiting for the development team to deliver a piece of work for testing. One of the most significant elements for QA in agile projects is having a good understanding of the agile development procedures and processes. Many agile companies follow the Scrum framework for delivering quality software.

Agile Methodology Challenges:-

The biggest benefit of agile development is delivering working software regularly, each time enhancing a small feature which is of value to the customer and this produces a lot of challenge not only for testers but also developers and anyone else involved in the delivery of application. In this blog I will tell you about how to overcome difficulties which arise during agile processes.


Constantly changing requirements/Last minute changes:

Changing requirements in the middle of the project is common in agile projects. This can be terrifying for the whole team because the work already carried out might get wasted completely or changes should be made to which is already half complete which can affect the scope of testing and can frustrate testers.

To overcome such situation, testers should be able to respond to change because in agile projects, change is unavoidable. When requirements change particularly during the end of the sprint when there is not enough time to test sufficiently, testers should be clear about what tests have been run and which part of the application hasn’t been tested well so that the team can make a well-versed decision (possibly based on risk) whether to release the feature or not.

Not enough information about the project:

Sometimes product owner wants to add a new feature. He will have some ideas but won’t have all the details about the new feature. In that case, Product owner will ask developers to create a prototype so that he can have a clear view and idea about the feature. This will add difficulties for testers because testers will have to test the prototype without any significant knowledge of the feature and it gets hard for them to create testcases.

To overcome this challenge, Testers should start testing by thinking about high level scenarios that test the concept of the project rather than waiting to get full details about the feature. By enlisting high level test scenarios, even when the details change, the context should be the same.

Testing without a break:

In agile process, testing is not a phase, it’s an activity. It starts even before the development starts. In order to perform testing smoothly QA should know about every single details of the project to have better understanding. Giving early feedback to developers is essential and somehow challenging for testers. As testers we have to make sure that the new feature works as defined in its acceptance criteria, we have to also make sure that the new code has not broken existing functionality. It means that we have not regressed and we have to provide such information quickly.

To overcome such situations, a tester has to start making test cases so that when the feature is available for testing he should be able to start testing straightaway. Testers should encourage developers for better visibility by arranging regularly to the test environment where they can run the tests rather than waiting for the feature to be built completely. We should automate regression tests to improve some of the testing effort and liberate our time for exploratory testing.

Technical/Automation skills:

If a tester is working in an Agile environment, he should be technical competent to help the developers with API and Integration testing. If a tester has only manual training then it would be difficult to keep-up with the pace as they need to test on a continuous testing. Performance testing is also very important for web based applications because it measures how much load the website or application can endure. If your company doesn’t have any specialist of performance testing then functional testers have to come in the role.

To overcome such challenge, we should start learning how all these tools work because if you already are familiar with programming and you get stuck, you can get help from developers. Some of the tools which are very useful like Selenium and JMeter etc.

Communication problems:

It doesn’t matter how good the process is if there is a lack of communication among product owner, team members, designers etc. nothing will work in that case.

To overcome these situations make sure there is good communication in between the team. There should be Involvement with developers and product owners on a continuous basis.

Achal sharma works as QA engineer in BugRaptors.. He is well versed with manual testing, mobile application testing, game testing, compatibility testing , Regression testing and sanity testing and able to create effective documentation related to testing like test case, test report etc.

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