For the past years, Agile methodology is recognized as an innovative approach to developing and testing software. Based on the 2018 VersionOne’s State of Agile Report, nearly many of the large corporations worldwide are using agile in some sort.
However, some respondents noted that adopting agile is not commonly used within their corporations. This simply shows that it is still a long way to go in agile’s full adoption and functionality.
What is agile’s definition? Why is this software has been so popular these days? This article explores what agile methodology is all about and what is the best approach in introducing it within your organization in detail.
What is Agile methodology
In recent years, Agile methodology has hit the software development industry by storm after its release and ever since has become the ‘the gold standard.’
The Agile methodologies are derived on the four core principles as cited in the Agile Manifesto such as:
- 1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. This refers to valuing individuals with high regard compared to processes or tools that are quite difficult to understand. The people are those who respond to the changing business needs and manage the development process.
- 2. Working software over comprehensive documentation. Agile does not remove documentation. It only enhances the form that provides the developer with the necessary details to perform the work without overlooking the essential information.
- 3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. This is when a customer can engage and freely collaborate with the developer in the duration of the development process. It eases the development of meeting their customer needs.
- 4. Responding to change over following a plan. The main objective is to create a detailed plan and a well-defined set of features
These methodologies are designed to achieve adaptive planning, prompt delivery, and ongoing enhancements. Everyone is set to respond to change right away as needed. This led to 88% of the respondents in VersionOne’s 2017 State of Agile Report to rank ‘ability to adapt to change’ as the first advantage of using agile in their operations.
As many development teams employ the agile philosophy in their companies, most testers are experiencing issues to keep pace. There is widespread use of Agile where most teams issue releases but with completely undocumented software on a regular basis. This compelled testers to modify their process when conducting tests, how they collaborate with the developers and business associates, including the selection of tests they conduct, while ensuring to maintain quality standards.
Testing the Agile methodology with the team
When we define agile, this means applying the agile principles of being adaptive, collaborative, and flexible. In adapting to agile development, this springs from the premise that the world is ever-changing. This means that software teams have limited time to develop new products to the industry. As everything is changing simultaneously at a fast pace, competitors’ product offerings or customers’ expectations quickly change over time, so the software team needs to always update their systems and be relevant.
Using agile technology, this reduces potential risks by encouraging teams to collaborate more often to identify what the customers need to succeed in their endeavors. It engages the teams to regularly work together and seek feedback so they can easily adapt to the necessary changes.
In the issue regarding agile methodology in testing, the quick pacing in agile development brought critical points for the testers:
- Prioritize the risk requirements considering evaluating everything is not possible
- Automate tests to optimize efficiency
- Use exploratory testing more often to increase the time from code delivery to test completion and stress the need to establish working codes
- Adapt to potential changes from sprint to sprint
Regarding adaptability, this is very vital as it requires the testers to have wider, cross-functional testing skills. This is an upgrade from the narrower testing skills usually employed in a waterfall environment. Also, unlike in a waterfall environment, testers working the agile methodology should work closely with the developers while testing the entire software development lifecycle.
In the waterfall processes, they need many requirements in the documentation that testers should take. The document does not change oftentimes, so testers can work independently with the developers. However, many agile methodologies have minimal issues on documentation and the requisites for a new feature is focused on a ticket in a requirement tracking system without citing all the edge cases. The testers during this time should collaborate with the development and business teams. The tests that they have written several weeks ago may soon be obsolete easily. To succeed in this area, testers need flexibility and be eager to adapt to customer needs.