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Key Success Factors of Agile Testing | David Tzemach

How can we determine the quality of an Agile testing project? Well, the first and most important criteria are that at the end of each sprint the customer will receive a quality product that can use in their own environment.

However, if you want to understand the real quality of your testing process, these are the factors to look for:

Adopting the Agile Testing Mindset

Testing in an Agile environment is one thing, but really embracing the Agile mindset is a completely different thing. Testers that succeed to make this further step will become a more effective and continual drive to improve quality within their teams and the organization.

Test Based on the Customer Perspective

In my opinion, a great success factor for the Agile testing project is whether the team test the software based on scenarios that simulate the real customer behavior and how he will use the software in his own environment. Sounds easy? Well, it is not. To be able to succeed, the team will need to get the full collaboration from the customer or detailed technical information from the Product Owner in addition to the creation of similar test environments and customer data that is almost never available.

Continuous Improvement of the Testing Process

As part of my job, I always try to find new ways that will help both the team and the organization to increase the effectiveness of the ongoing quality processes. I think that the same expectation should direct to any Agile team that should find the weak points in their testing processes and continually tries to find new ways to improve them sprint by sprint.

Collective Ownership of Quality

In Agile we embrace the whole team approach that is critical for the team to collaborate in a way that will increase their ability to deliver high-quality products. In this kind of approach, testers are not the quality owners (same as they were in the traditional testing environment) but the whole team working together to ensure quality. In my opinion, this is one of the most important success factors for a team and particularly for testing. For example:

  • The whole team tests the product in case there is no time for testing.

  • The team treats testers as equal team members and not just “testers”.

  • The whole team participates in determining the test strategy.

  • All team members are equally contributing to the testing effort.

  • Determine estimations for testing activates.

  • The entire team is open for feedback.

  • Identifying the acceptance criteria at the feature/user story level as per customer expectations.

Reduction of Total Testing Effort

Another symptom that can indicate for success is whether the team can reduce their manual testing effort by automating tests earlier in the development cycle. Reducing the total manual effort will help the team to focus on delivering more value to the customer and reduce future technical debt.

Maintain a Testing Pace to Coding

To reduce the percentage of creating “mini-waterfalls” whiten the sprint, testers must ensure that they can sustain their pace to align with the coding activities. To be able to do so, testers must know how to use advanced test techniques, understand the risks, and determine a suitable test strategy that guides the whole team.

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