Agile Methodology: An Enormous Facelift to Testing
Agile manifesto is not new to the software world anymore; the industry has clinched the agile development methodologies quite well over the last decade. Every organization is adopting agile in varied shapes and forms to align with their business needs to achieve their ultimate goal of being truly receptive to end users and market needs.
Primarily, like other disciplines in the product team, testing teams too were randomized with the agile concepts. It’s getting important to ascertain the testing team role fit in with the agile concept, adoption, timelines and changing the user requirements, to where as to be really fit in the life cycle. However, over the years testing team has gained the most from the assorted angles including:
- Improved work with the best approaches – With an augmented focus on test automation to save test cycles, testers have been forced to give away some tasks from their plates which were earlier done manually. This is giving testers more time to think and do bigger/better things such as end-user feedback analysis, competitive analysis and business needs accomplishments, etc.
- Better reputation for the work they do – Testing team has their own space and accountability now and no longer relegated to a prod3 phase in the software life cycle. Testers are involved upfront not just in their testing efforts, but even in all requirements definition, production planning and design stages. This level of involvement hones their skills and bring out their best in discussions that they were previously not part of.
- Great collaboration & full involvement with whole team – Shifting to the left side in the development life cycle give testers a chance to collaborate with the rest of the product team instead of being an isolated entity that enters the scene just before the product release. Although this has its teething problems initially including role encroaching, a sense of refutation of letting the testers getting involved in product discussions and business improvement areas, etc. The value addition by the testers has shown a great help to the rest of the team to see their potential and collaborate with them.
- Stronger ties with end users – Given that in an Agile program, the product team as a whole is more receptive of and engaged with end users, testers as end-user representatives on the team have a huge potential to the front-end with users, be it product demos, beta programs, usability studies, etc. This has given them a better understanding of the product from end user standpoint and helped them get better in their own roles rather than a previous scenario of imaginary shoes of the end user that they were attempting to fit into.
Las but not least, most importantly, the agile has forced the testers help the rest of the team to show quality in their own spaces and help not just themselves, but everyone to do better in their roles and contribute their bit to the product under development. The tester has come a long way since the role was officially baptized in the 90s. The agile style of operations has given the tester a much better status and facelift that they deserved both for the work they were already doing & newer tasks for which they have huge potential. The testing alliance indeed needs to be thankful to the Agile Development Methodologies for an enormous facelift in their role.