Over the last few decades, the Agile methodology of project management has practically replaced the traditional Waterfall model.
But has it delivered on its promises? Is it just another tech buzzword, or is it delivering value to software development companies?
As it stands, Agile fulfills the need for shorter development cycles and incremental releases amid the competitive software development and testing landscape.
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In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, software companies must be flexible and streamlined in their operations. To that effect, Agile improves the adaptability of product development companies and drives them to be competitive and productive.
To that end, here is a quick guide to everything you need to know about the Agile approach and methodology.
What Is Agile Methodology?
Effectively, the Agile methodology of project management can bring product improvements through continuous development and testing. Unlike the Waterfall model, Agile software development and testing are concurrent activities, which makes them more effective.
Through team collaboration, Agile ensures continuous coordination among project stakeholders, including the development and QA teams. In essence, the Agile process operates on the premise of improving software products (or applications) across their entire lifecycle.
- Modernize their applications.
- Implement digital transformation.
- Adapt flexibly to changing market demands.
- Improve the customer experience.
How Is Agile Methodology Being Used in the Realm of Software Testing?
The Agile software testing approach tests an application right from the initial phase of the SDLC. Agile testing typically spans the following SDLC stages:
- Initialization stage (or Iteration 0)
- Development and iteration stage
- Deployment and release stage
- Production stage
Next, let's deep dive into the scope of test automation in Agile testing.
Why Is Agile Test Automation Important?
To meet customer needs, development companies need to accelerate their product releases and shorten the time to market. Meanwhile, for faster product releases, product companies need faster development and testing. And they cannot afford any compromise on the product quality.
In short, customers quickly reject products with loads of bugs or slow performance issues. However, manual testing (performed by 'human' testers) can no longer fill this void.
On the other hand, Agile test automation enables QA teams to create automatic test cases to execute any time the "new" product code is posted to the code repository. With continuous testing in DevOps, product companies ensure a bug-free application before deploying them to production.
Agile test automation can be implemented using frameworks like Selenium and CI/CD tools like Jenkins With these Agile automation tools and frameworks, Agile testing teams can:
- 1.Develop test cases in sync with the application needs.
- 2.Run the test cases automatically on every new code added to the application.
- 3.Verify automatically if the added code is bug-free and does not adversely impact any existing features.
Next, let's learn about the various Agile methods used in application testing.
Types of Agile Methods in Software Testing
Now, let’s take a look at some of the popular methods used in Agile testing environments:
Easily the most popular Agile method, Scrum focuses on managing tasks within a small team of Agile developers and testers. In short, it breaks down the Agile development process into smaller units (or Sprints). As a result, the entire Agile team focuses on planning and managing one sprint at a time.
Besides the development and testing team, Scrum has multiple user roles, including product owner and Scrum master. Further, the Scrum method supports continuous deliveries, where developers and testers prioritize any overdue (or incomplete) sprint.
Introduced as a concept in lean manufacturing, Kanban (or visual board) is now widely used in Agile development. Kanban uses visual tools or methods to manage the Agile project. For instance, Agile teams can "visually" see their progress (or what comes next).
The Kanban Board depicts any ongoing development project under three columns, namely:
- To Do
Therefore, using the Kanban Board, Agile teams have complete visibility of the progress of their Agile project. Furthermore, they can prepare for forthcoming tasks to deliver the product "just in time."
3.Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM)
DSDM emerged as a standard framework for ensuring rapid software delivery in the industry. In essence, DSDM provides a defined structure to plan, execute, and scale Agile-based development. Like Scrum, DSDM also uses sprints.
DSDM is the Rapid Application Development or RAD approach to software development. Essentially, DSDM the following eight fundamental principles drive DSDM:
- On-time delivery
- Focus on business needs
- Zero compromises on product quality
- Incremental product building
- Iterative development
- Continuous and clear communication
4.Extreme Programming (XP)
Extreme Programming emerged specifically designed for Agile development. Similar to Scrum, XP focuses on continuous development and delivery using Sprints. This method is highly recommended when customers constantly change their requirements, or product functionality is not clearly defined.
Therefore, XP supports product releases at highly-frequent intervals using short development cycles. Moreover, it uses a "checkpoint" to incorporate any modified customer requirements.
Further, XP-based projects are tested right from the initial stage and incorporate user feedback. XP also supports the following development-related processes:
- Customer acceptance tests
- Test-driven development
- Continuous integration
- Smaller releases
- Project planning
5.Lean Software Development
Lean development completely differs from Agile. However, both of them share the same values. Above all, this method bases itself on the principle of Just-in-time development. To that end, it aims to remove anything that does not add value to the project.
Some of this method's principles include eliminating waste, creating knowledge, delivering quickly, and deferring commitment.
Why ACCELQ Is the Most Reliable for Agile Automation Testing
ACCELQ is among the best platforms for Agile test automation. Using this platform, QA teams can reduce their test automation efforts by 70% and improve their productivity by three times.
With its codeless test automation, ACCELQ provides embedded Agile frameworks for modularity and reusability. As a result, teams can realize faster software development and lower maintenance.
ACCELQ can help you with continuous product deliveries. Want to know how? Get in touch today for a product demo!