Agile Methodology: An Overview of the Agile Model in Software Testing

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile Methodology refers to a process that emphasizes ongoing iteration of development and testing throughout the software development lifecycle. In Agile software testing, both development and testing occur simultaneously, as opposed to the sequential approach in the Waterfall model.

What is Agile Software Development?

The Agile method of software development is a straightforward and highly effective way of transforming a business idea into a functional software solution. This term refers to software development practices that incorporate ongoing planning, learning, improvement, teamwork, iterative development, and early delivery. With Agile, the development process is designed to be flexible and adaptable to changes.

The Agile Software Development approach highlights four key principles:

Emphasis on individual and team collaboration, rather than on processes and tools.

Preference for functional software over extensive documentation.

Focus on working closely with customers, rather than only relying on contracts.

Being adaptable to change, instead of strictly following a set plan.

Difference between Agile Model and Waterfall Model.

Agile Model Waterfall Model
Definition: The Agile methodology advocates for a step-by-step and repeated approach to software development.Definition: The Waterfall Model follows a sequential progression in software development, starting at the beginning and moving towards the completion point.
Software engineering’s Agile process is divided into separate models that designers tackle. The design process is not divided into separate models.
The customer is given ample opportunities to examine the product early on and make modifications to the project. The product will only be made visible to the customer once the project is completed.
The Agile approach is viewed as less organized in comparison to the structured methodology of the Waterfall model. Waterfall models are considered more secure due to their highly structured and planned approach.
For small initiatives, quick implementation is possible. However, with larger endeavors, determining the time needed for completion is challenging. Projects of all types can be calculated and finished.
Corrections can be made during the course of the project.Finally, the entire product undergoes a thorough evaluation. If any faults or discrepancies are detected or alterations need to be executed, the project must be restarted from scratch.
The development procedure follows an iterative approach and is carried out through short cycles, lasting between 2 to 4 weeks. Planning is minimal. The progression of the project is divided into stages, each of which is more extensive than a single cycle. At the conclusion of each stage, a comprehensive outline of the subsequent stage is provided.
Software development takes precedence over documentation. Documentation is a high priority and can serve as a tool for training personnel and updating software with other groups.
Every cycle goes through its own testing phase, enabling the execution of regression testing whenever new functions or logic are introduced. The testing phase is only carried out after the completion of the development phase as the individual components are not yet fully operational.
Upon the completion of an iteration in agile testing, the customer is presented with the shippable features of the product. The new features become immediately available for use upon delivery. This is especially beneficial when there is a strong customer relationship established. After the extensive implementation phase, all the created features are released simultaneously.
Collaboration between testers and developers is essential. Testers operate independently from developers.
Close collaboration with developers is crucial and it is necessary to jointly assess the requirements and create a plan. The developer does not participate in the requirement and planning stages. Typically, there are time lags between testing and coding.

Agile Process

Check the below Agile methodology process to deliver successful systems quickly.

Agile Process Model

There are various Agile methods present in agile testing, and those are listed below:

Scrum

Scrum, an agile development approach, focuses on efficiently managing tasks in a team-oriented development setting. Its name is derived from rugby, reflecting its emphasis on empowering the development team to work collaboratively in small groups of 7 to 9 members. There are three key roles in Agile and Scrum, each with distinct responsibilities.

Scrum Method

Scrum Master

Scrum Master is responsible for setting up the team, sprint meeting and removes obstacles to progress.

Product owner

The individual who holds the role of Product Owner is accountable for putting together the product backlog, determining the importance of items on the backlog, and ensuring the successful completion of each iteration’s functionalities.

Scrum Team

The team takes charge of their tasks and arranges the work to finish the sprint or cycle.

Product Backlog

A database for tracking requirements with specific information on the number of user stories to be finished per release is maintained here. The Product Owner is responsible for prioritizing and maintaining the repository, which will then be shared with the Scrum team. The team members can also make requests for adding, modifying, or removing requirements.

Scrum Practices

Practices are described in detailed:

Process flow of Scrum Methodologies:

Process flow of scrum testing is as follows:

Each cycle of a scrum is referred to as a Sprint.A Product backlog is a comprehensive list that holds all necessary information to produce the final product.

During each Sprint, the most pressing user stories from the Product backlog are picked and transformed into the Sprint backlog.

The team focuses on executing the identified Sprint backlog.The team assesses their daily progress.

At the conclusion of the Sprint, the team presents the functional product.

Extreme Programming (XP)

The Extreme Programming approach proves useful in situations where customer demands or needs are continuously evolving or when there is ambiguity regarding system functionality. It promotes the release of the product in regular and brief development cycles, boosting system efficiency and providing a convenient opportunity to incorporate customer specifications. The XP method focuses on delivering software that meets the customer’s needs.

The collection of business needs is documented as stories, which are kept in a repository referred to as the parking lot.Adopting this approach, software releases are structured into shorter intervals referred to as Iterations, with a duration of 14 days. During each iteration, tasks such as coding, unit testing, and system testing are executed, resulting in the gradual development of the application’s functionalities, both small and large.

Phases of eXtreme programming:

There are 6 phases available in Agile XP method, and those are explained as follows:

Planning

Stakeholder and sponsor identification Infrastructure Needs

Gathering security dataService Agreements and terms.

Analysis

Recording of Tales in Parking Area

Rank the tales in Parking Area

Purifying the tales for evaluation

Determine the Duration of the Iteration

Allocate Resources for both Development and QA Teams.

Design

Task Dissection

Preparation of Test Scenario for each Assignment

Automation Framework for Regression Testing.

Execution

Programming

Verification of Units

Implementation of manual test plans

Generation of bug reports

Transitioning of manual tests to automated regression tests

Mid-cycle assessment

Final iteration evaluation.

Wrapping

Minor Releases

Verification Testing

Demonstrations and Evaluations

Create new requirements based on necessity

Enhancements based on post-iteration evaluation feedback.

Closure

Pilot Launch

TrainingProduction Launch

SLA Guarantee assurance

Review SOA strategy

Production Support.

There are two storyboards available to track the work on a daily basis, and those are listed below for reference.

Story Cardboard

This is a traditional way of collecting all the stories in a board in the form of stick notes to track daily XP activities. As this manual activity involves more effort and time, it is better to switch to an online form.Online Storyboard

Online tool Storyboard can be used to store the stories. Several teams can use it for different purposes.

Crystal Methodologies

Crystal Methodology is based on three concepts.

Chartering: Various activities involved in this phase are creating a development team, performing a preliminary feasibility analysis, developing an initial plan and fine-tuning the development methodology

Cyclic delivery: The main development phase consists of two or more delivery cycles, during which the

Team updates and refines the release plan

Implements a subset of the requirements through one or more program test integrate iterations

Integrated product is delivered to real users

Review of the project plan and adopted development methodology

Wrap Up: The activities performed in this phase are deployment into the user environment, post- deployment reviews and reflections are performed.

Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM)

DSDM is a method of software development that emphasizes speed and agility through the use of a RAD approach. This framework places a significant emphasis on active user involvement and empowers teams to make decisions. The central goal of DSDM is frequent product delivery, utilizing various techniques and tools.

Time Boxing

MoSCoW Rules

Prototyping

The DSDM project consists of 7 phases

Pre-project

Feasibility Study

Business Study

Functional Model Iteration

Design and build Iteration

Implementatio

Post-project

Feature Driven Development (FDD)

This approach concentrates on the creation of features through “designing and constructing.” Unlike other Agile techniques in software engineering, FDD outlines clear, brief phases of work that must be completed individually for each feature. The phases include a domain overview, design evaluation, advancement to construction, code evaluation, and design. FDD creates a product while maintaining the following objectives in sight.

Domain object Modeling

Development by feature

Component/ Class Ownership

Feature Teams

InspectionsConfiguration Management

Regular Builds

Visibility of progress and results

Lean Software Development

The Lean software development approach is rooted in the concept of “Just in time production”. Its objective is to enhance the speed of software development while minimizing expenses. This methodology can be condensed into seven phases.

Eliminating Waste

Amplifying learning

Defer commitment (deciding as late as possible)Early delivery

Empowering the team

Building Integrity

Optimize the whole

Kanban

Kanban originally emerged from Japanese word that means, a card containing all the information needed to be done on the product at each stage along its path to completion. This framework or method is quite adopted in software testing method especially in Agile concepts.

Scrum Vs Kanban

ScrumKanban
In the scrum approach, tests must be divided into manageable portions so they can be finished within a single sprint. There is no specific size requirement for any item.
Establishes a prioritized list of products for development. Making priority choices is not a requirement.
The Scrum team makes a pledge to complete a specific workload during the iteration.Commitment is a choice.
The use of a Burndown chart is required.There is no specified size for any particular item.
After each sprint, the scrum board is reset.A persistent Kanban board restricts the quantity of elements in the workflow stage.
It cannot add elements to an iteration that is already underway. It is possible to incorporate items when space permits.
The impact of WIP is limited in a roundabout manner. The direct impact of WIP limitation
Timeboxed iterations prescribedOptional time-limited iterations

Agile metrics:

Metrics that can be collected for effective usage of Agile is:

Drag Factor

The Drag Factor represents the number of hours invested that do not contribute to the sprint goal. To enhance the Drag Factor, the utilization of shared resources can be minimized and the quantity of work that does not contribute to the goal can be decreased. The new estimate can be elevated by the Drag Factor percentage – New estimate = (Previous estimate + Drag Factor).

Velocity

Number of User Stories converted into functional delivery for the Sprint

Addition of Unit Tests

Duration for Daily Build Completion

Identified bugs during or prior to the iteration

Escaped production issues.

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