Agile provides an innovative and alternative approach to traditional methods of software development that can lower costs, improve communication and decrease time to market. However, while agile has substantially altered the software design processes for many, agile teams must still follow good basic practices in development.
One of the most important aspects of successfully designing software using agile development practices is to ensure that you also have good testing practices. Testing consultancy services can help to develop a testing framework embedded in the development process that minimises the risks and maximises benefits of agile project delivery.
Testing Consultancy Services and Agile Development
Every Agile situation differs slightly; however, there are some common scenarios that frequently arise on agile projects.
Typically teams working on projects with agile management are small, self-organising and cross-functional, including developers, testers, business analysts and project owners, headed up by a project lead / scrum master. The shift away from waterfall models, where each group has a specific set of responsibilities is a cultural one. Within agile teams, every member has multiple responsibilities – collectively to the team to release a quality product that the sponsor asked for. The emphasis from a testing perspective moves away from frantic activity prior to major releases, to a steady stream of activity on regular releases, with regression packs on top.
A small team using agile may not have a dedicated in-house tester whose job it is solely to perform regular testing when necessary to support the pace of agile delivery.
Testing on agile projects is different – it doesn’t mean it is not required. There are different ways to assure the quality of code as it is developed; test driven development and behaviour driven development are two popular current methods. These should also be supplemented by unit testing and acceptance, usability (UX) testing, performance and increasingly, device compatibility testing.
How Testing Consultancy Services Can Help
With traditional approaches to software development, some test teams required that features be 100 percent complete prior to being tested. This is not the way things work with agile.
Instead, agile teams specify a feature using testable examples and build behaviours in small increments. A continuous testing framework needs to be established at the beginning of the project in order for the testers to ensure there are no errors in these small increments of programming.
By providing continuous testing of small increments of code designed to identify problems in behaviours, programming errors and bugs are identified much more quickly instead of waiting until the features is complete; code is fast to fail and thus fast to fix, making significant savings on remedial action for problems identified later in the lifecycle.
The Role of a Software Testing Consultancy Service in Agile Development
It is important that all members of an agile team have the skills in order to do their job and that the responsibilities of each area are clearly mapped out. A testing consultancy can assist with providing skilled agile resources with the necessary skills for rapid deployment into agile teams. Test consultants often have extensive experience of agile projects, including BDD, TDD and test automation skills.
In order to go beyond the testing performed at the development level, a testing consultancy service can also provide specific non-functional testing services, in particular, usability testing, performance testing and independent acceptance testing.
The experience and single-minded focus on effective software testing that testing consultancy services bring to the table ensures that the best testing methods will be used and that more of the benefits of the agile methodology are realised. This, in turn, will maximise the chances that the software has of being delivered on time and problem-free for end users. Contact our professionals at www.etesting.com for a consultation regarding your IT needs.