Testing in Agile: What Are The Benefits?

Testing in Agile: What Are The Benefits?

Beating the competition in today’s over-saturated tech landscape can seem like a mammoth task. In a world where customer satisfaction needs to be consistent, quality has become the key differentiator of what makes a product stand out from the crowd. 

But if you cannot deliver quality at speed, it becomes impossible to keep up with the rapid pace of the tech market. For that reason, the most successful companies have mastered the art of achieving quality at speed.

So how do you speed up your release cycles and maintain delivery of a high-quality product?

Traditionally, waterfall, scrum and kanban methodologies have been employed to achieve quality. But when using these techniques it can be difficult to achieve faster time to market. That’s because they can be relatively rigid and development and testing are siloed, meaning there is little simultaneous collaboration. 

That’s where agile testing comes in.

Let’s take a look at it means to test in agile, and what the benefits are, according to the experts. 

What is testing in agile?

Agile testing follows the principles of agile software development. In agile teams, testing is not considered to be separate from the SDLC. It is considered an integral part of it. 

Therefore, those practising agile use continuous testing. This means that they start testing right at the beginning of the SDLC and continue to test throughout. There are fast feedback loops between testing and development, and the process is fluid and reactive, rather than sequential. 

Developers and testers work collaboratively together in ‘sprints’ (short, time-boxed periods) to deliver software. There is a strong cohesion between sub-teams and testing is conducted early and often, rather than simply after the code is finished.

What are the benefits of agile testing?

There are some really key benefits of using agile testing. For a start, incorporating testing early and often will help you catch bugs faster, and fix them faster as a result. This will prevent expensive, time-consuming fixes down the line, and also reduce the number of bugs that make it into production. 

But beyond that, the cohesion between developers and testers means that quality is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. As a result, testability is built into the code, design, and the overall thought processes of the team. Rather than a clunky, hard to test product that is facing a high number of bugs, your product will be thoroughly tested and better quality as a result. 

But don’t just take my word for it, we asked tech experts to see if they agree. 

“The greatest benefit of agile testing is lightweight test documentation — QA specialists focus not on writing multiple test plans, test cases, test reports, bug reports, but on making sure that the solution is of high quality. As the agile manifesto states, 'Working software over comprehensive documentation.' Another important advantage is the agility of the testing process and its readiness to respond to changeable requirements”

- Alex Pletnov, CTO at KeenEthics,

“Rapid feedback loops are essential to business agility. Agile testing validates our assumptions immediately, so we can adapt quickly and provide increments of value to our customers.”

- Jill Stott, Agile trainer and coach at NextUp Solutions

Sync agile testing is quick and it is ideal for testing the performance of small projects. What’s more, revisions during the middle of the project are possible. With the fast nature of agile testing, QA testers can perform tests even before the project finishes. Finally, minimal planning is required. Since agile testing doesn’t require a multitude of documentation, it is easier and faster because of its unstructured nature.

- Jonathon Wright, Management Consultant, QA Lead

How do you test in agile successfully?

Implementing agile strategy demands a restructuring of your current SDLC and workflows. This change means you can be thrown into an unknown world, and it is possible that you will face setbacks. 

But that’s okay. Every new strategy needs a settling in period. And agile testing is worth it. 

So how do you ensure that you implement testing in agile successfully, without facing hiccups along the way?

Hear from our experts:

“High-quality, well-planned automated tests are indispensable. Without a fast-running, reliable automated test suite it is nearly impossible for teams to complete each iteration with a potentially shippable increment of value.”

- Jill Stott, Agile trainer and coach at NextUp Solutions

“Communicate and adhere to a strong 'definition of done'. Testing will never be perfect and with agile testing, one needs to integrate the operations team as well to consistently roll out products. This requires operations and development to be strongly aligned and have a clear definition-of-done, facilitated through direct and regular communication.”

- David Johnson, Chief Technology Officer, Mulytic Labs and founder of Clear Blue Data

I recommend not keeping QAs closed in their cubicles as some old-fashioned testing approaches presume but letting them interact continuously with developers, PMs, POs, and clients. It will give QAs a bigger picture of the entire project and make the testing process both more effective and more efficient."

- Alex Pletnov, CTO at KeenEthics

The agile approach

Implementing agile is similar to any change in your company - it comes with challenges.

But it also comes with opportunity.

If your team wants to speed up their SDLC, deliver quality and beat the competition, agile testing should be on your radar. 

When used correctly, agile testing can provide you with flexibility, the ability to be reactive, and the power to deliver quality at speed.

If you would like to learn more about delivering quality at speed, book a call with one of our Growth Specialists today.