Agile testing

As the Complexity of the software development process is increasing day by day, the software testing approaches need to evolve to keep up with the development approaches. Agile testing is a new-age approach that focuses on testing smarter rather than putting a lot of effort. Yet it delivers high-quality products.

So Let’s start with What is Agile testing?

Agile testing is a software testing practice that follows the different principles of agile software development. Or we can say it is a software development practice that promotes frequent, automated testing of new code as it is completed and ensures that defects are getting fixed as soon as they occur.

The role of testing in agile methodology is quite different compared to traditional testing. In traditional testing, after the build of code is completed, it is tested, and the results of the test determine whether the build is ready for release or not. Whereas, in Agile, testing is performed routinely-from the early stages of development and onwards. Early and often testing ensures the product is either bug-free or being fixed as soon as it is discovered. As a result, this prevents release delays that eventually occur in the conventional practice as bug fixes are prioritised and addressed. 

Let’s know about the Principle of Agile Testing:-

Continuous Testing:

Agile teams perform tests regularly so that they can ensure the continuous progress of the overall project and product development.

Continuous Feedback:

Along with continuous testing, Agile testers provide valuable feedback to the developer and client on a regular basis. So that issues can be fixed at the early stage. It even ensures the team is on the right track in terms of business logic and software behaviours.

Involvement of Entire Team:

In traditional testing, only the testing team is responsible for testing in the software development life cycle. Whereas in Agile Testing, there is an involvement of the entire team, which includes all testers, developers and business analysts for testing software.

Quick Feedback:

The business team is even involved in each iteration of Agile testing. There is quick feedback as compared to traditional testing.

High-level software quality:

As it involves regular testing and feedback, all the issues found by the team are fixed in the same iteration. As a result, it ensures a high level of software quality.

Reduces documentation:

Instead of creating a new checklist, Agile supports reusable checklists. Instead of broad, documented requirements and instructions, it focuses on current customer needs.


In Agile testing, the product is tested at the time of implementation rather than after implementation.

Client Satisfaction:

The client is exposed to the software during the time of development. It gives them the chance to adapt and update the requirement at the development phase itself, which ensures the satisfaction of the customers.

Let’s know about the Methods involved in Agile Testing:

There are three main methods of Agile testing

 1-Behaviour Driven Development (BDD).
 2-Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD). 
 3-Exploratory Testing.

Behaviour Driven Development (BDD)

A key objective of this method is to improve communication between all stakeholders involved in the project.

This improves the understanding of each and every feature, prior to the development process. The communication is continuous and based on examples. In this method, testers, developers, and business analysts create “scenarios’ ‘.

Scenarios are written in a specific format, called Gherkin Given/When/Then syntax. They include information on how a feature behaves in different situations with varying input parameters.

Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD)

This method of testing involves the customer, developer and tester. Meetings are held to gather inputs from these three roles and use them to define acceptance tests. The customer looks at the problem, the developer considers the solution, and the tester considers what might go wrong. The Acceptance tests specify how the system will work from the user’s perspective.

They even ensure that the system functions as intended. Like the Behaviour Driven Development approach, acceptance tests are written first, they initially fail, and then software functionality is built around the tests until they pass. 

Exploratory Testing

This method of testing focuses on creating workable software over documentation of the process. This method of testing focuses on interacting with working software rather than separately planning, building and running tests. The main intent of the Exploratory testing method is customer collaboration and interactions over contract negotiation and processes and tools.

Testing using this method is the most adaptable to changes, as the testers explore the application to identify its functionalities. By studying and understanding the application, they can design and execute their tests accordingly. In order to design and execute tests, they need to understand the application. This is a customised approach to testing.

Life Cycle of Agile Testing

The Agile Testing life cycle consists of  5 phases such as:

Impact assessment:

This is the initial phase of testing where testers gather inputs from all the stakeholders and users. These inputs are given to the development team as feedback for their next iteration.

Agile Testing Planning:

This phase of Agile testing involves uniting the stakeholders to plan all the details of the testing process such as the schedule, frequency of the meetings, and the deliverables needed.

Release Readiness:

This phase of the testing process includes reviewing all the features that have been deployed in the product by the development team and checking if they are ready to go live or not. 

Daily Scrums:

This phase includes regular meetings for the team to check the status of the project on a daily basis.

Test Agility Review:

This is the final phase of testing that involves the weekly meetings of the team with the stakeholders to review and assess the progress against milestones.

Quadrants of Agile Testing:

The Agile testing quadrants segregate the whole process into four Quadrants and help to understand how Agile testing is being performed.

Agile Quadrant I: The main focus in this quadrant is internal code quality. It consists of test cases that are technology-driven and are implemented to support the team, which includes Unit Tests and Component Tests.

Agile Quadrant II: This quadrant contains test cases that are business-driven and are implemented to support the team. This Quadrant focuses on the requirements. The tests performed in this phase are Testing examples of possible scenarios and workflows, Testing User experiences such as prototypes and Pair testing.

Agile Quadrant III: In this quadrant, many rounds of iteration reviews are carried out which builds confidence in the product. It gives feedback to quadrants one and two. The testing done in this quadrant is Usability Testing, Exploratory Testing, Pair testing with customers, Collaborative testing and User acceptance testing.

Agile Quadrant IV: It focuses on non-functional requirements such as performance, security, stability, etc. This application is made to deliver the non-functional qualities and expected value, with the help of this quadrant. The testing done in this quadrant is Non-functional tests such as stress and performance testing, Security testing with respect to authentication and hacking, Infrastructure testing, Data migration testing, Scalability testing, and load testing.

Agile Test Plan:

A test plan is an important aspect of Agile testing: 

It is different from waterfall testing, the Agile practice needs test plans to be written and updated for each release. The types of testing done in a particular iteration include:

Requirements and Testing scope:

The major task here is to understand features and user stories – limited only to that iteration, defining the test strategy, and scope and estimating the time to be spent.

Story or feature verification phase:

As part of this stage, stories and features are tested, with the understanding that some of them may not be fully functional. The aim of the plan is to ensure all features work well independently and with other components.

Prepare to rescope:

The nature of agile development is fluid and change-friendly. In order to reflect the various changes, the test plan is a living entity that gets updated frequently.

Levels and Types of testing based on the feature complexity:

A QA build strategy and types of testing and testing tools must be determined. When should automated tests be developed? Who should be responsible for unit testing? Who should be responsible for unit testing? Which all tools will be required for the performance testing and automated testing? These all planning is essential for the success of Agile testing.

Identifying risks and mitigation strategies:

Risks should be planned for and prepared for in the test plan. Let’s say a complex feature may require multiple execution paths and the time frame may be inadequate to test the feature. In this case, the mitigation strategy involves allocating multiple resources to pick up the most likely execution paths and avoid risks within a short period of time. 

System verification and acceptance:

Integration testing is conducted for the system, once most of the features are built. This ensures that new feature sets and last-minute changes don’t disrupt the system.

Feedback and retrospective:

Agile planning is characterised by the ability to do a retrospective, learn from each iteration and adapt the next iteration plan based on what we have learned.

Technical debt:

It is a fact that increased testing velocity can lead to more crashes if the quality is not addressed. Technical debt should always be included in the plan.

Benefits of Agile testing:-

  • Effortlessly save time.
  • Improved collaboration and communication between the development and testing teams.
  • Consistent improvement helps speed up the testing process with effective results.
  • Maintenance of applications becomes easier.


In order to overcome the shortcomings of the existing testing model, Agile testing was introduced. The Agile testing approach results in a customer-centric approach, by delivering a high-quality product as early as possible. It reduces the cost of bugs by fixing them early. Looking at its customer-centric approach, now several companies have started implementing an Agile testing methodology.