Agile Testing: An Overview of its Process and Life Cycle.

Agile Testing: An Overview of its Process and Life Cycle.

What is Agile Testing?

Agile Testing is a testing method that adheres to the guidelines and principles of Agile software development. In contrast to the Waterfall approach, Agile Testing commences right from the beginning of the project with a constant connection between development and testing. The Agile Testing approach is not sequential, meaning it is not limited to being performed only after the coding phase, but instead is a constant process.

Fundamental Approaches to Agile Testing

The Key Components of Agile Testing include:

In the Agile testing approach, the primary indicator of success is the presence of functional software. The optimal outcome is accomplished by self-governing teams. Our utmost priority is to consistently deliver valuable software. Developers must engage in daily meetings throughout the project. Improving agility is achieved through constant technical advancement and appropriate design. The Agile testing methodology guarantees that the final product meets the needs of the business by providing ongoing feedback. The testing process is incorporated into the implementation phase, shortening the development timeline. The Agile testing process should maintain a consistent pace with development. Regular evaluations are necessary to determine ways to enhance effectiveness. The most suitable design, architecture, and requirements arise from self-governing teams. The team constantly assesses and modifies their approach to increase effectiveness at each meeting. Direct communication with the development team through face-to-face discussions is the most effective and efficient mode of exchanging information within the team.

Agile Testing encompasses a set of concepts that enhance the efficiency of software development.

Agile Testing Life Cycle

The Agile Testing Process is comprised of five distinct stages, as illustrated in the accompanying picture.

Here are the Agile process testing steps:

Phase1: Impact Assessment: During the initial stage, we collect input from stakeholders and users. This stage, also referred to as the feedback phase, helps the test engineers determine the objectives for the upcoming life cycle.

Phase 2: Agile Testing Planning: During the second stage of the Agile testing life cycle, all relevant parties collaborate to devise a plan for the testing schedule and determine what will be delivered.

Phase 3: Release Readiness: Currently, we assess the readiness of the features that have been completed and put into effect. This stage also determines which features need to be returned for further development.

Phase 4: Daily Scrums: The morning standup meeting is held daily to keep track of testing progress and establish objectives for the day.

Phase 5: Test Agility Review: The final stage of the Agile life cycle is the Agility Review Gathering. This encompasses weekly gatherings with key parties to consistently assess and evaluate advancements compared to objectives.

Agile Test Plan

The Agile test plan encompasses various testing aspects that are performed during a specific iteration, including the necessary test data, infrastructure setup, testing environments, and outcome of the tests. Unlike the traditional Waterfall approach, the Agile model requires that the test plan be created and updated for every iteration release. The test plan in Agile methodologies typically includes.

Testing Scope

New functionalities which are being tested

Level or Types of testing based on the features complexity

Load and Performance Testing

Infrastructure Consideration

Mitigation or Risks Plan


Deliverables and Milestones

Agile Testing Strategies

Agile testing life cycle spans through four stages

Iteration 0

In the initial stage, known as Iteration 0, you carry out foundational setup tasks such as identifying participants for testing, installing testing tools, and allocating resources for usability testing, such as scheduling a lab. The goal of Iteration 0 is to lay the groundwork for the subsequent steps.

Establishing a business case for the project

Establish the boundary conditions and the project scope.

Outline the key requirements and use cases that will drive the design trade-offs..

Outline one or more candidate architectures..

Identifying the risk

Cost estimation and prepare a preliminary project.

Construction Iterations

The next step in the Agile Testing Methodology is called Construction Iterations, which is where the bulk of testing takes place. This phase consists of a series of iterations that result in the development of an increment of the solution. The team uses a combination of practices from XP, Scrum, Agile modeling, Agile data, etc. during each iteration.

The agile team follows the prioritized requirement approach in construction iteration. Each iteration focuses on the most important requirements from the work item stack, and they are implemented. Construction iteration is divided into two categories: confirmatory testing and investigative testing. Confirmatory testing focuses on verifying the system meets the stakeholders’ expectations, as described to the team, and is conducted by the team. On the other hand, investigative testing identifies problems that may have been missed during confirmatory testing. The tester identifies potential problems in the form of defect stories, and investigates common issues such as integration testing, load/stress testing, and security testing. Confirmatory testing is further divided into two parts: developer testing and agile acceptance testing. Both are automated to enable continuous regression testing throughout the project’s lifecycle. Confirmatory testing is the equivalent of testing to the specifications in the agile method. Agile acceptance testing is a combination of functional testing and acceptance testing and is conducted by the development team and stakeholders. Developer testing, on the other hand, is a combination of unit testing and service integration testing. It verifies both the application code and the database schema.

Release End Game Or Transition Phase

The objective of the “Release, End Game” phase is to implement your system into a live environment effectively. This stage encompasses the training of end users, support staff and operational personnel, promoting the product release, backup and recovery measures, and completing system and user documentation.The final testing stage within the Agile methodology encompasses comprehensive system testing and user acceptance testing. To ensure a smooth conclusion of the testing phase, it is crucial to thoroughly test the product during each construction iteration. During this final stage, testers will be addressing any defects identified.


After the release stage, the product will move to the production stage.

The Agile Testing Quadrants

The four quadrants of the agile testing process serve to break down the entire procedure and provide insight into how testing is carried out in an agile manner.

Agile Quadrant I

This quadrant places emphasis on the internal code quality, which is composed of test cases driven by technology and implemented to aid the team. It encompasses.

Unit Tests

Component Tests

Agile Quadrant II

This Quadrant emphasizes on requirements and implements test cases that are driven by business needs to aid the team. The tests carried out in this phase are designed to meet the requirements.

Testing of examples of possible scenarios and workflows

Testing of User experience such as prototypes

Pair testing

Agile Quadrant III

This quadrant serves as a feedback mechanism for the first and second quadrants. Automated testing can be performed using the test cases as a foundation. The quadrant undergoes multiple iteration reviews, strengthening confidence in the product. The testing performed here is comprehensive.

Usability Testing

Exploratory Testing

Pair testing with customers

Collaborative testing

User acceptance testing

Agile Quadrant IV

The focus of this quadrant lies on the aspects that are not related to functionality, like performance, security, stability, etc. By utilizing this quadrant, the application can provide the desired non-functional traits and meet the expected standards.

Non-functional tests such as stress and performance testing

Security testing with respect to authentication and hacking

Infrastructure testing

Data migration testing

Scalability testing

Load testing

QA challenges with agile software development

In agile, the likelihood of errors increases as the emphasis on documentation is reduced, putting more strain on the QA team.

The speedy introduction of new features limits the time available for the test teams to verify their compliance with requirements and effectiveness in meeting business needs.

Testers are often expected to carry out tasks typically assigned to developers. The test execution process is highly compressed, leaving very little time to create a test plan. Regression testing is also limited by the available time.

The role of the QA team shifts from being solely responsible for ensuring quality to being a collaborative partner in the quality assurance process.

The frequent changes and updates to requirements in agile methodologies present a major challenge for the QA team.

Risk of Automation in Agile Process

Automated UI testing provides a high level of assurance but can be slow in execution, challenging to maintain, and costly to develop. Unless the testers have the knowledge of how to test, automation may not significantly enhance test efficiency.

The unreliable nature of automated tests is a significant concern, and fixing failing tests and resolving brittle test issues should be a priority to prevent false positive results. If the automated tests are triggered manually rather than through Continuous Integration, there is a risk of them not being regularly run and causing test failures.

Automated tests should not be viewed as a substitute for exploratory manual testing. A combination of testing methods and levels is necessary to achieve desired product quality.

Commercial automation tools that automate the capture and replay of manual test cases often result in brittle and difficult-to-maintain tests. Storing test cases outside the version control system increases complexity.

In an effort to save time, the automation test plan is often poorly planned or not planned at all, resulting in test failures. The set-up and tear-down procedures during test automation are often missed, while they are seamlessly performed during manual testing.

Metrics such as the number of test cases executed or created per day can be misleading and result in investments in ineffective testing. The members of the Agile automation team must be effective consultants and possess qualities such as approachability, cooperativeness, and resourcefulness, or the system will fail.

Automated testing may propose solutions that require excessive maintenance relative to their value and may lack the expertise to deliver effective solutions. The success of automated testing may lead to a situation where important problems are solved, and the focus turns to unimportant ones.


Modified the following content without changing meaning Agile methodology in software testing involves testing as early as possible in the software development lifecycle. It demands high customer involvement and testing code as soon as it becomes available. The code should be stable enough to take it to system testing. Extensive regression testing can be done to make sure that the bugs are fixed and tested. Mainly, Communication between the teams makes agile model testing success!!

ALSO SEE: Accelerate Testing with an Agile Automation Framework

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