Why Agile SDLC is Flexible, Collaborative and Effective?

Agile SDLC: (Review + Test + Build + Design)*n => Deployable

[Here: n is infinite number of iterations.]

Entry Point

The emergence and prevalence of the Agile Development Approach across the software development lifecycle are driven by the fact that the only way for organizations to cope with today’s turbulent customer-driven marketplace is to become Agile. This Agile SDLC methodology enables organizations to master continuous change. It permits firms to flourish in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Agile development and testing approaches are required to release new features to the market in a matter of weeks, not months or years. Based on quality, the focus is to satisfy customer requirements. Testing was always considered an activity followed by the coding phase. It has to be continuous, creating an ongoing feedback loop helping developers improve their code.

Agile Testing Principles

These set the foundation of the project:

Communication: The testing team needs to communicate with the product owners – to establish the project expectations to help developers align with the product roadmap and satisfy customer needs. It is also important to closely interact with the developers – reporting on quality issues that can affect the users and suggest improvements.

Continuous Testing: Testing is always a part of agile SDLC followed when the coding and development part gets over.

Continuous and Quick Feedback: The business tea must get involved in every iteration. Constant feedback reduces the time it takes to get feedback on development work.

Ensure High-level Software Quality: All the software testing that is done must ensure the highest quality standards, address any vulnerabilities in code, fix them right away in the same iteration as they are developed.

Agile Works Best In Team Environment: an application that is to be developed requires designers, business analysts, programmers, test engineers and post-sales teams working together to get the perfect output.

Focus on Customer’s Needs: Agile development focuses on current customer’s needs rather than comprehensive, documented requirements and instruction.

What are the Agile Testing Quadrants?

The Agile Process of Development and Testing can further be simplified by making use of certain quadrants. These provide a taxonomy for tests like which tests to run, where to run a test and how to run tests:

Quadrant 1: Tests to improve quality of code – this might include manual and automated tests.
Quadrant 2: These include the tests that focus on the business-related aspects including prototypes and functional tests.
Quadrant 3: This includes the feedback from the first two quadrants. This is a way to test the user experience and measure business results.
Quadrant 4: This tests nonfunctional requirements including security, compatibility, stability, stress tests, performance tests and infrastructure tests.

Challenges Faced With Agile Development and Testing

  • The ever-changing requirements
  • Lack of sufficient information
  • Continuous Testing that starts even before the development phase
  • Exceptional Technical Skills are required. Even the test teams require knowing API testing, integration testing, scripting UI automation checks with Selenium or similar frameworks.
  • Frequent Regression Cycles- This is important as developers keep updating the app with features. Identification of risks and bugs at each iteration is important to ensure that the application functions correctly for all users.
  • Proper communication between developers, testers and product owners is important to ensure that the agile testing works properly.

Establishing a Measurement of Quality to Guide Agile Testing

Some Quality Intelligence Platforms have emerged to help agile teams understand where to focus their testing efforts. Such platforms help teams collect data about test execution across all testing quadrants like code quality, functional testing, acceptance testing and non-functional testing, code changes and usage of product features in production – as these factors fill-up the testing gaps, these provide adequate help to the test teams to focus their efforts on certain modules thus resolving high-risk quality issues.

Exit Point: How well the organizations imbibe agile practices?

Truly agile management aims to achieve the ability of an organization to renew itself, adapt, change quickly and succeed in a rapidly changing, turbulent, ambiguous environment – there is a need to quickly reconfigure strategy, structure, processes, people, technology towards the value-creating and value protecting opportunities. The top management is required to take key strategic initiatives and assess the risk associated. There must be an obsession to enhance customer value, maximize shareholder value as reflected in the current stock price.

The agile practise of developing software applications erupted out of curiosity turned necessity, primarily written by programmers in response to the incessant micro-management by non-technical managers who were in general too incompetent to learn about the technology that they managed. Agile legitimated the idea that all the stakeholders – be it the developers, the testers, the client, or the business analysts, everyone must be involved in the Agile Software Development Life Cycle. It as well emphasizes the change management spurring a lot of experimentation, development costs, opportunities and tools. All these acts as stewards, who serve to establish, preserve and modify a particular vision. Thus keeping up with the agenda, following the agile software development life cycle approach implies dividing a big task into small chunks, solving each one by one and then assembling all the resultants into one whole to get the final output. It does not require comprehensive documentation but promotes an entire team working towards a common goal. It helps all members to stay updated, saves time/effort/cost, lesser time to market and above all helps you understand your customer better. Go for it!

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