AgileQA: A Robust Framework for Agile Testing

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The world is changing fast and being adaptive is not an option, it’s a must. Agile software development has proved its efficiency as a flexible approach in software development by delivering solutions faster and with the ability to respond to change. Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban are commonly used Agile methodologies that have their own guidelines and frameworks. Since QA is a vital part of software development, QA engineers should know how to bring value to an Agile team. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Agile testing, compare it to standard Quality Assurance Practices, and provide several tips on how to incorporate Agile principles in your testing process.

Traditional vs. Agile Testing

So what is Agile testing? And what is the difference between traditional quality assurance (QA) and Agile Testing?

The traditional understanding of the QA process requires attention to quality at each project stage and includes all QA activities — creating a test plan and test strategy, performing different types of testing, developing test cases and check-lists, and analyzing and clarifying requirements, executing tests, generating test results. An Agile testing project, on the contrary, needs to go far beyond that traditional understanding to take all the basic QA activities and expand and adapt them to the constantly changing project environment. This brings additional value and improves the team’s overall performance.

The Exadel QA team took the most commonly used Agile methodologies and reimagined them from a QA perspective to generate our AgileQA solution and get more efficient and optimal results.

The AgileQA Framework addresses common problems that QAs face when attempting to apply the traditional methods to ever-changing and ever-evolving Agile processes and product development.

QA Challenges AgileQA Solutions

Unclear Prioritization Due to Constant Changes 

Agile projects are flexible and prone to change by definition, which can make prioritization a cornerstone of a project success

Tools for Change Management

With AgileQA, you will be given tools and guidelines to manage flexibility and maintain clear prioritization

Increased Quality Risks

QAs struggle to catch up with constant changes in prioritization for various QA activities and features, which leads to less effective testing using the standard risk management approaches.

Risk Mitigation Tools\Approach

Agile QA provides QAs with overall guidelines that promote flexibility, as well as a framework that significantly reduces risks and makes sure nothing slips through

Transition from Non-Agile to Agile  

Moving from a non-Agile approach can cause a loss of efficiency and productivity in the short term without a clear transition roadmap and needed team skills

A Comprehensive QA Guide to Becoming Agile

With AgileQA, we provide a governing framework as well as step-by-step To Do Guides to support team on every development phase

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How to Incorporate an Agile Approach into QA Activities

AgileQA is a carefully constructed framework that guides the optimization and improvement of QA processes within Agile development. It includes “Golden Recommendations” generated based on our extensive empirical data and “To Do” action guides to aid in achieving project goals and promoting Agility at every step of the way.

Simply knowing what Agile means is not enough to actually be Agile. You can use the AgileQA solution to extend your Agile testing toolkit and bring your technical skills to the next level. It allows QA members to be deeply involved in the process, flexible, and always ready for changes. It also gives them a bird’s eye view of the Agile process as a whole and ultimately helps the team achieve project goals. QA engineers can adapt to the Agile process by using detailed “To Do” action guides for each iteration and development phase and tips for how to follow the “Golden Recommendations.”

The “Golden Recommendations” aim to answer the vital questions that any QA working in Agile might have:

  1. Can the iteration duration vary, and if so, what affects its length?
  2. How can I increase the value I contribute to project meetings?
  3. What meetings, discussions, and phases should a QA attend?
  4. What are the most important characteristics that a QA engineer should hone in on when working in an Agile process?
  5. How can I plan and estimate accurately in the ever-changing Agile environment?
  6. What Regulations & Conventions must be documented and followed?
  7. How do I create transparency in QA activities?
  8. What state of mind does a QA need to have to prepare for possible changes?
  9. When do QAs have to be involved in the project?
  10. What are the key skills to succeed in an Agile Project?

Understanding key stages and events in the Agile development cycle will bring transparency, improve your team’s productivity, and lead to project success. Do you need to learn how to launch, develop, and wrap up a project as a QA in Agile? The Exadel QA team developed detailed “To Do” action guides for each project phase to help you achieve project goals with Agility in each step.

  • On-Boarding – How to effectively integrate a new person in a complex environment.
  • Project Initiation – How to launch a project without over-planning and by adjusting to inevitable constant changes.
  • Iteration Planning – Plan to change on a constant basis and plan to adjust the plan. How to plan based on empirical knowledge.
  • Iteration End – How to wrap up an iteration, deliver the increment, and learn from the experience in order to put new information into practice in the next iteration.
  • Release – Releasing the increment with risk mitigation and effective QA support.
  • Daily Status – Making sure that you are in sync with the team and not wasting time during the Daily Sync.
  • Project Closure – How to close the project properly to guarantee the most effective transition to maintenance and support.
  • Departure from a Project – How to leave the project without compromising complex development and while making sure that the knowledge you carry is shared properly with the team.

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What Can You Expect from Agile Testing?

With detailed “To Do” action guides for all the key stages and events of an Agile project and tips on how to follow “Golden Recommendations,” you’ll establish a clear plan for each QA that will help them be more effective. It doesn’t require intensive training; you can just open our carefully constructed guide book and follow clear steps and recommendations.

Our comprehensive guide on how to improve QA processes to create and respond to change will allow you to adapt and optimize your processes and mitigate risks. It includes the description of QA activities corresponding to each software development step and clear recommendations you need to develop a high-quality, well-tested product.

Author: Nastasia Sharasheuskaya