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Agile methodology in testing

The world’s most widely used software development framework is the agile methodology. Most of the organizations out there have adopted it while testing, but there is still a long way to go. Back in older days, coding and programming were tiresome, and there was a lot of documentation. A lot of time and efforts were wasted in order to develop simple software.

Developers have been trying to invent something that is much more powerful and consumes less time when compared to their conservative methods and this is when Agile came into the light. The existing waterfall methods were too cumbersome, and this made all the developers turn towards the agile methodology.

In the waterfall method the development is done in different phases and one has to move on to the next phase after the completion of the first phase. If there is anything wrong in the first phase and the developers are already in the second phase, they won’t be able to go back to the first phase for a checkup. This is the reason why experts wanted to find a new methodology.

The basic agile model can cater to all the requirements of software development. It has everything in place, and the entire product development is organized and managed perfectly with the help of this methodology.

The Agile Methodology in Testing

Agile isn’t a set of guidelines or rules. It is not even a perfect methodology. Agile is nothing but a set of principles that encourage the flexibility, communication, and adaptability. The Agile software development process allows the teams to work together productively and efficiently. They help in developing the complex processes.

It consists of certain practices that exercise the incremental and iterative techniques which can be easily adopted to display great results. There are various methodologies of Agile which will help in applying the Agile into action. These methodologies will help in catering all the requirements of the software development team.

There are various Agile methodologies available, but the four essential methodologies are

  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Lean
  • Extreme Programming

What is the significance of Scrum?

Scrum is the most eminent methodologies out of all the methodologies related to Agile. Scrum is so famous that it is considered as the synonym of “Agile”. This is just a misconception. The Scrum is just one of the frameworks that will help in implementing the Agile.

This word scrum has been derived from the game rugby where all the players are huddled together interlocking their hands. Each player in the scrum plays an important role and in a similar way each and every member of the software development team will play an important role according to the Scrum methodology.

In Agile scrum testing process, there are three important roles – PO, Scrum Master, and the Development Team.

  • PO
  • It stands for the product owner. He/she is the key stakeholder or the lead user of the application that is developed. The product owner represents the customer side and this person should always be available for the team. They should be reachable so that the team members can contact them at any time if they have any doubts.

    If this person isn’t available when there is any issue, it may lead to the delay of the project too. Therefore; the PO plays an important role in the project. They should understand and not assign any new requirement after the sprint (predefined time interval for the completion of work) has started.

  • The Scrum Master
  • It is the head of the scrum team who manages the team and takes care of them effectively. They have to make sure that the scrum team is performing effectively and efficiently. If there are any issues, he/she should follow up and resolve the issue on their own. This person is responsible for the communication between the scrum and PO. The Scrum master has to give an everyday report to the PO.

  • The Development Team
  • The team consists of all the other members of the scrum. These developers, QA, testers, etc. The entire team that is working on the project are considered as the development team.

Scrum testing process, Activities Done in Scrum Methodology

  • Planning Meeting
  • The planning meeting is the starting point of Scrum methodology. The entire scrum team gathers for this discussion and the Scrum Master describes the user story (the requirements of customers) and then the team will start brainstorming on it.

    The scrum team will discuss about the complexity of the story and then aligns it as per the Fibonacci series. The team identifies the tasks along with the amount of time that is required to complete the implementation of the user story. A pre-planning meeting will be conducted before the planning meeting to discuss about the product ideas. It is like homework before an actual meeting.

  • The Execution Part
  • The scrum gets on to the work and starts working in order to complete the project. They work to take the user story to “done” state.

  • The Daily Standup or daily scrum
  • The scrum meets for fifteen minutes every day to discuss about the project. This procedure is called Daily standup and three major points are discussed in this

    What is the work done by team member yesterday?
    What does the team members plan to do today?
    Are there any impediments (issues)?

  • The Review Meet
  • At the end of every sprint cycle, the Scrum team meets with the PO and provides her/him with the user stories and its implementations. The PO can verify the user story according to its implementation criteria. The scrum master is responsible to preside over the meeting.

  • The Retrospective Meeting
  • This happens right after the review meeting and the following three points are discussed

    Best practices of Sprint
    What went bad during the Sprint
    What are the lessons learned and the action items?

Activity Tools used in Scrum

The following tools are used as activity tools in the Scrum Methodology.

What are the roles and responsibilities of Agile Tester?

The agile testing involves conducting the test from the customer’s point of view and performs it as good as possible. The role of an agile tester isn’t just limited to the testing of software. He is also responsible to assure the quality of it. In most of the scrums, the agile testers work as quality assurance team too.

Role of QA in Agile Scrum

  • Face to Face Communication
  • Face to face discussion is the most efficient way to work and discuss ideas with the team. The agile tester will participate in all the scrum meetings in order to talk and ask any doubts regarding the user story. This way he will be involved with the scrum right from the start. The design meetings are organized before the sprint planning is done and it is important for the QA to participate in it.

  • Understand Customer Requirements
  • The QA sits with the scrum and discusses the customer’s requirement. He works collaboratively with the PO to know what they are expecting from the scrum. The tester and other team members sit and discuss the requirements of PO before the user story is sent for the development process.

  • The Absolute Role
  • The tester should have both technical knowledge and skills. He should be good at communications so that he can talk with the PO as well as the scrum master from time to time about the project.

  • Automating the Testing Process
  • In agile testing, the integration testing and unit testing plays a huge and important role. It is better to automate this testing process altogether. There are various tools available for automation and there is no need for learning any language to automate the testing process.

  • Commendable Technical Knowledge
  • An agile tester should be able to contribute their technical skills in the discussion of the teams. They help in reviewing the codes, understanding the requirements of POs and user stories grooming. The tester QA should stay with the development team during the performing unit testing and offer their insights from the perspective of a tester. This different perception will help the developers to make a difference in the development.

  • Exploratory Tester
  • The exploratory tester will be using his skills to perform the testing in order to avoid any risks and uncertainty with the product. The tester can get the ideas with the initial design meetings and discussions with the team to explore the system. Once the tester gets an idea about the area of ambiguity, he will be able to work more efficiently and systematically for the product. An agile tester is bound to share his ideas and knowledge with the other scrum members.

  • Choosing the Quality Metrics
  • Before even evaluating the quality of the product it is important for the QA tester to establish certain metrics so that they can measure it. You can set these quality metrics as per the user story.

  • Lay Certain Ground Rules
  • The managers and scrum masters give a lot of freedom for the scrum to perform the implementation on their own. While this is commendable, it is important for you to set some of the ground rules when it comes to testing. This is one of the major agile testing responsibilities. You have to decide the type of testing tools you want to use, how to define the statuses, type of methodologies to apply, how to classify the state of build, etc. are some of the basic rules that you have to look upon.

Key Takeaways

These are the roles and responsibilities of an agile tester. If anyone asks you what is the role of a QA tester on the scrum? You can give them this list of roles and responsibilities. The role of a software tester in Agile environment is important. They make a huge difference in the team. These people are responsible not only to test the products but also to deliver the best products for the customers too.

With testing activities in the Scrum, the tester needs to participate in the sprint meeting, daily work, and day to day Scrum. The tester is encouraged to write about the new user stories from time to time so that it will help the customer with a better understanding of the project milestones. He should also assist and help the team in recognizing any user story that has been uncovered.

Technostacks has completely followed this agile scrum methodology for software development. If you are planning to develop your own software product, then discuss your requirement with us. We will give the best assistance as per your business.

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