Common Challenges for Agile Testing Teams

Sreeram Krishna
February 11, 2019

With more software and app development teams adopting agile methodologies, the QA teams also have gone agile. Agile testing has become mainstream along with agile development. Some of the major challenges with Agile development are:

  • Shorter development cycles that span anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks whereas, in the waterfall method, it could be months together.
  • In Agile development, the team can check the code multiple times a day.
  • Smaller development cycles that offer more scope for changes.

Challenges That Agile Testing Faces

Rapidly Changing Test Requirements

Agility comes with its own set of challenges. One of them is the rapidly changing requirements, which make agile testing a challenging process. This is especially tough when there are last-minute requirement changes. There are two critical factors to consider here – to involve the entire team, including the development team responsible for the changes and to disclose the risks of untested or roughly tested changes and decide whether or not to release the same until the team tests it to perfection. Ideally, when the whole team takes up the responsibility the application turns out to be less prone to errors.

Untold Stories

The team may not finalise the acceptance criteria during the testing period that makes agile testing incomplete. If the client has a very clear-cut picture of how the application should perform in the very beginning itself, it makes the design, development and testing much efficient. Another option is to involve domain experts who understand the requirements better and can offer better insights on what the requirements could be. These inputs can be used to prepare a high-level test case which can be used to benchmark except for the detailing.

Continuous Testing

In agile development, testing is more of a continuous process than a phase! The acceptance criteria are written based on the client requirements from the beginning stage even before the development starts. As the requirements change, the acceptance criteria also change and the test scenarios too. The QA team has to work closely with the development team to understand the changing scenarios and make changes in the acceptance criteria as soon as they get clarity. Automation offers more time for the testing team to explore the nitty-gritties of the changes.

Less Test Coverage

Ensuring complete test coverage is another huge challenge for the agile testing team. With continuous changes in the requirement, acceptance criteria, code and testing, chances are high that the testing may not be complete. Better documentation of user stories and source code analysis can help mitigate this critical challenge to ensure maximum test coverage.

Broken Codes

Frequent changes in code will make it prone to code breakages which will result in poor performance and even application crash. This is one of the common issues that the testers face as they have to perform testing on the same module almost every day due to frequent change. This may result in overlooking some of the basic test-cases or scenarios which can be overcome with automation. Test automation saves the testing team from the monotony of having to regularly test the same module repeatedly. It also ensures better quality results offering a less risky application.

Less API Testing

API testing is usually a neglected aspect due to the complexity involved. But to make the applications more customizable and scalable, the API is let open to the admins who are trained to manage the functionalities. Automation offers better tools that make API testing much simpler.

Performance Issues

As the team does Agile Testing on bits and pieces of code, there may be some performance issues for the application as a whole. With every iteration, the complexity and code size increases and this becomes difficult to manage without proper code policy and change management in place. The team can identify the performance issues by blocks or batches and check them using load-testing tools.

Breaking Integration Scenarios

One of the biggest challenges of Agile testing is that the integration scenarios may be difficult to trace out and test. This is critical when it comes to micro services architecture /enterprise applications. These need to integrate with other modules/products or third-party software. The challenge can be overcome with better communication between the development and testing teams and by ensuring the proper analysis of the integration requirements. One of the integration requirements are clearly listed out and the testing team prepares test scenarios to address the same.

Get Strong Technically

A strong team that’s technically brilliant can combat the challenges with agile testing. Equip your team to handle automation efficiently using the right automation tools. They will be ready to take up the challenges of agile testing. This would result in applications that the team will test to perfection.

At Coviam, we believe in Quality Testing regardless of the methodologies followed for each project. A technically strong team adept with the latest automation tools commits to ensuring better user experiences and application performance. Another skill that we ensure across the organization is effective communication. Our development and testing teams work hand in hand to deliver cutting edge technologies time and again.

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Blog Cover Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

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