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Lifecycle   »   Agile Testing   »   Agile testing


In previous paragraphs, we addressed the topic of testing and subdivided it into paragraphs based on the type of testing we may choose to perform. We have also addressed the topic of testing on agile projects in the section Testing On Agile Projects. Now we will look at the process of Agile Testing. Agile testing is testing in an agile fashion. Almost all testing can be performed in an agile fashion. It is a state of mind, a way of working that can be applied to the various types of testing you choose to perform.

In agile testing, the focus and perspectives change. Remember, using The Big Agile Toolkit, we are trying to deliver to budget. This is our primary focus. To achieve this we will do things slightly differently. If the focus is on budget and cost then we will concentrate on those elements of testing which are mandatory or are a priority.

So, immediately we change the focus of our testing. We are now performing priority-based testing. We will plan and deliver the tests which will be done and we will not plan to deliver the tests that are not important. This does not appear to be a huge change in the way we work. However, testing personnel who are more accustomed to performing every test to the nth degree and seeking to validate every route through the system and every data item often find this change a little too troublesome.

It is the job of the project manager, test manager and executive sponsor to deliver change where change is needed. Your project team members will come on this journey with you and you are entitled to managerial support in order to enable this.

How do we decide what to test? Thankfully, this is the simple part. Agile testing is primarily focused on the customers perspective. The Toolkit is similarly aligned to the customers perspective. We always seek to achieve customer satisfaction but vitally project profitability and return on investment (ROI). These are important objectives and should be documented in your testing strategy document. The level of quality we deliver and the costs of testing to achieve that level of quality have a direct impact on both these objectives.

We do not set out or plan to test everything. We do not set out or plan to validate every route or every data item. We set out, very early in the process, which parts of the solution absolutely must be tested. We list them in our test plan and we describe our rationale of priority-based testing in our testing strategy document.

When we develop in an agile fashion we deliver results regularly. We respond to this in an agile fashion by testing these results regularly. So here is another new change to the way we deliver agile testing. We have regular deployment cycles so we have regular testing events.

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