Everyone talks about agile development, but how does it really work? Get an overview of how teams collaborate using scrum, kanban, and other popular agile methodologies.
What is Agile Methodology?
Agile Methodology meaning a practice that promotes continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the software development lifecycle of the project. In the Agile model in software testing, both development and testing activities are concurrent, unlike in the Waterfall model.
What is Agile Software Development?
The Agile software development methodology is one of the simplest and most effective processes to turn a vision for a business need into software solutions. Agile is a term used to describe software development approaches that employ continual planning, learning, improvement, team collaboration, evolutionary development, and early delivery. It encourages flexible responses to change.
Agile software development emphasizes four core values.
Individual and team interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change by following a plan
Agile Model Vs Waterfall Model
Agile and Waterfall models are two different methods for the software development process. Though they are different in their approach, both methods are useful at times, depending on the requirement and the type of the project.
Agile methodology definition: Agile methodologies propose an incremental and iterative approaches to software design
Waterfall Model: Development of the software flows sequentially from start point to endpoint.
The Agile process in software engineering is broken into individual models that designers work on
The design process is not broken into an individual models
The customer has early and frequent opportunities to look at the product and make decisions and changes to the project
The customer can only see the product at the end of the project
The agile model is considered unstructured compared to the waterfall model
Waterfall models are more secure because they are so plan oriented
Small projects can be implemented very quickly. For large projects, it is difficult to estimate the development time.
All sorts of projects can be estimated and completed.
The error can be fixed in the middle of the project.
Only at the end, the whole product is tested. If the requirement error is found or any changes have to be made, the project has to start from the beginning
The development process is iterative, and the project is executed in short (2-4) weeks iterations. Planning is very less.
The development process is phased, and the phase is much bigger than the iteration. Every phase ends with a detailed description of the next phase.
Documentation attends less priority than software development
Documentation is a top priority and can even use for training staff and upgrade the software with another team
Every iteration has its own testing phase. It allows implementing regression testing every time new functions or logic are released.
Only after the development phase, the testing phase is executed because separate parts are not fully functional.
In agile testing when an iteration ends, shippable features of the product are delivered to the customer. New features are usable right after the shipment. It is useful when you have good contact with customers.
All features developed are delivered at once after the long implementation phase.
Testers and developers work together
Testers work separately from developers
At the end of every sprint, user acceptance is performed
User acceptance is performed at the end of the project.
It requires close communication with developers and together analysing requirements and planning
The developer does not involve in the requirement and planning process. Usually, time delays between tests and coding
Check the below Agile methodology process to deliver successful systems quickly.
There are various Agile methods present in agile testing, and those are listed below:
SCRUM is an agile development method which concentrates specifically on how to manage tasks within a team-based development environment. Basically, Scrum is derived from activity that occurs during a rugby match. Scrum believes in empowering the development team and advocates working in small teams (say- 7 to 9 members). Agile and Scrum consist of three roles, and their responsibilities are explained as follows:
This is a repository where requirements are tracked with details on the no of requirements(user stories) to be completed for each release. It should be maintained and prioritized by the Product Owner, and it should be distributed to the scrum team. The team can also request a new requirement addition or modification or deletion
Practices are described in detail:
Process flow of Scrum Methodologies:
The process flow of scrum testing is as follows:
Extreme Programming (XP)
The extreme Programming technique is very helpful when there are constantly changing demands or requirements from the customers or when they are not sure about the functionality of the system. It advocates frequent “releases” of the product in short development cycles, which inherently improves the productivity of the system and also introduces a checkpoint where any customer requirements can be easily implemented. The XP develops software keeping customers on the target.
Business requirements are gathered in terms of stories. All those stories are stored in a place called the parking lot.
In this type of methodology, releases are based on the shorter cycles called Iterations with a span of 14 days time period. Each iteration includes phases like coding, unit testing and system testing where at each phase some minor or major functionality will be built into the application.
Phases of eXtreme programming:
There are 6 phases available in the Agile XP method, and those are explained as follows:
There are two storyboards available to track the work on a daily basis, and those are listed below for reference.
Crystal Methodology is based on three concepts
Team updates and refines the release plan
Implements a subset of the requirements through one or more program tests and integrates iterations
Integrated product is delivered to real users
Review of the project plan and adopted development methodology
Wrap Up: The activities performed in this phase are deployment into the user environment, and post-deployment reviews and reflections are performed.
Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM)
DSDM is a Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach to software development and provides an agile project delivery framework. The important aspect of DSDM is that the users are required to be involved actively, and the teams are given the power to make decisions. Frequent delivery of products becomes the active focus with DSDM. The techniques used in DSDM are
The DSDM project consists of 7 phases
Functional Model Iteration
Design and Build Iteration
Feature Driven Development (FDD)
This method is focused on “designing & building” features. Unlike other Agile methods in software engineering, FDD describes very specific and short phases of work that have to be accomplished separately per feature. It includes domain walkthrough, design inspection, promotion to build, code inspection and design. FDD develops products keeping following things in the target
Domain object Modeling
Development by feature
Component/ Class Ownership
Visibility of progress and results
Lean Software Development
The lean software development method is based on the principle of “Just in time production”. It aims at increasing the speed of software development and decrease cost. Lean development can be summarized in seven steps.
Defer commitment (deciding as late as possible)
Empowering the team
Optimize the whole
Kanban originally emerged from a Japanese word that means, a card containing all the information needed to be done on the product at each stage along its path to completion. This framework or method is quite adopted in software testing methods, especially in Agile concepts.
Scrum Vs Kanban
In the scrum technique, tests must be broken down so that they can be completed within one sprint
No particular item size is prescribed
Prescribes a prioritized product backlog
Prioritization is optional
The scrum team commits to a particular amount of work for the iteration
Commitment is optional
Burndown chart is prescribed
No particular item size is prescribed
Between each sprint, a scrum board is reset
A Kanban board is persistent. It limits the number of items in the workflow state
It cannot add items to ongoing iteration
It can add items whenever capacity is available
WIP limited indirectly
WIP limited directly
Timeboxed iterations prescribed
Timeboxed iterations optional
Metrics that can be collected for effective usage of Agile are: