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How to accelerate your release cycles with Agile Testing
How to accelerate your release cycles with Agile Testing

Agile testing needs to be aligned as per the business objectives of enterprises for accelerating the software release cycles. The processes to achieve the same include proper planning, meeting expectations, and testing early and frequently.

Staying competitive in today’s world of business requires consistent delivery of customer satisfaction through your products or services. If quality has emerged as a differentiator for enterprises to expand their customer base, enabling faster release cycles arguably comes next. With the traditional Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) encompassing the waterfall method of testing, achieving quality and faster time to market has become difficult. This brings Agile testing into the equation where development and testing take place simultaneously instead of operating in their respective siloes.

How agile testing approach can accelerate the software release cycle

In the Agile form of software development life cycle of iterative development procedure, the requirements generate mainly from the end-customers and testing teams. The Agile software testing methodology is aligned to the customer requirements. The Agile application testing aims at delivering a product free of glitches and quickly to the market.

Further, agile testing services do not consider testing as a separate process but an integral part of the development cycle. Here, developers and testers work in cohesion as a single entity called sprint. These services are distinct from traditional testing comprising logging glitches, checking metrics, and writing detailed test cases. In agile methodology, instead of testing the code post development, it is done early and frequently. In fact, the testing team is engaged with testing and integration of sub-systems and features. It is observed that Agile practices do not always generate the likely outcomes enterprises set out to achieve. It is due to the fact that enterprises often embrace agile practices without adapting them to their IT environments, workflows, culture, or architecture. This means enterprises, while adopting agile, should be guided by their goals. Among the goals, the feedback loop needs to be shortened to fix the glitches quickly.

The agile methodology aims at delivering quality software at frequent intervals, speedily and consistently. This calls for better collaboration, flexibility, and transparency among the development and testing teams. The agile testing experts should ensure quality becomes everyone’s responsibility (both developers and testers). To reach the goal of identifying (and redressing) glitches early, testing should be conducted early and often in the SDLC.

However, since the process needs to be speedy and efficient, test automation becomes the key. It ensures copious lines of codes and variables are checked for glitches and integration against expected outcomes. Test automation prevents the code from showing unexpected results, defects, regressions, and cost escalation due to refactoring later. The metrics tell the detailed scope of testing comprising code coverage, the percentage of test automation coverage area, and the impact of glitches on the end-users. Switching between the old and new codes using toggles must be coupled with forward and backward compatibility. This is to ensure the code is not broken while enabling new functionalities. The entire process requires thorough architecture planning and deep knowledge of the code base.

A Microservices architecture entails breaking up the code into smaller units and assigning them to different teams. The final application can be built using any combination of the microservices provided the interfaces are properly defined and maintained. Since the microservices architecture requires less maintenance, it helps to improve the consistency and speed of software delivery.

How did we increase testing efficiency for a global technology enterprise?

A leading multi-national IT corporation reached out to us regarding severe testing inefficiencies in their Agile cycles. They were facing a serious crunch of the required skillset and were somehow managing with a limited pool of resources. Their business deliverables demanded highest quality in a rapidly changing Agile environment, which was rendered with inconsistent processes across the scrums. They had parallel scrum teams developed at multiple locations, which resulted in challenges in achieving test coverage and agility in communication with virtual teams.

The Agile mess that they had was screaming the sorry state of their Agile testing plan. Evidently, they needed a solid testing strategy to be designed, executed, and integrated with their Agile methodology.

We set up test environments at the developer’s locations to be virtually accessible to our off-shore testing team for revalidation in critical situations. A Quality Control dashboard was developed and maintained with interface to exchange server. The dashboard increased the scrum-level transparency and offered better control. We designed end-to-end processes and defined entry and exit criteria for all stages.

Adopting best practices across scrum teams helped achieve consistency across the parallel testing processes and cycles. A well-defined regression, mini regression, and automation coverage was achieved with the help of our solid test strategy supported by maintainable supporting artifacts. By leveraging automation techniques to cover at code level and capturing key inputs for high volumes of data for dozens of sites, we assisted with better planning. We established a disciplined communication model which ensured a seamless transition of tasks between scrum master and scrum leads.

 

Conclusion

To accelerate your software release cycles with the agile testing strategy, the entire process needs to move to a CI/CD pipeline. Implementing agile is similar to any change process involving challenges, bottlenecks, as well as, opportunities. If enterprises are sure about their objectives and the way to achieve them, the challenges would become opportunities for learning.

The definition of agile can mean different things to different people. However, it needs to be implemented as per the requirements and working pace of organizations. In pursuance of agile, there can be challenges in terms of aligning people and processes. In case of failures, it is worthwhile to remember that agile can engender failures but the same should be an opportunity to learn. Failures are acceptable provided the process of deployment is iterative and continuous.

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nice article good information about accelerating releases cycles with agile testing thank you

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agile testing, agile testing, software testing, software testing, test automation, test automation, application testing, application testing,

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