‘Just Enough’ documentation in an Agile Project

Agile poses many challenges to the development team, most of them pertaining to time. Teams are perpetually under pressure to deliver working software at a fast pace, leaving minimum time for anything else. When testing on an agile project, learning how to write lean documentation can save precious time. Furthermore writing lean documentation can help rework efforts by focusing only on what’s really necessary.

The Agile Manifesto emphasizes working software over comprehensive documentation, but most agile teams interpret this wrong and treat documentation as something to be avoided, owing to time constraints. The manifesto states a lesser focus on comprehensive documentation, but some documentation is still needed for the project and any related guidelines being followed. Attaining this balance is a challenge.

Documentation is a necessary evil. We may think of it as cumbersome and time-consuming, but the project cannot survive without it. For this reason, we need to find ways to do just enough documentation — no more, no less.

Read about how to focus on important areas like VALUE  , COMMUNICATION and  SUFFICIENCY when documenting in your agile project – in my article published at Gurock TestRail blog –> https://blog.gurock.com/lean-documentation-agile-project/

just enough

Click here to read the full article

For example, in a traditional test design document, we create columns for test case description, test steps, test data, expected results and actual results, along with preconditions and post-conditions for each test case. There may be a very detailed description of test steps, and varying test data may also be repeatedly documented. While this is needed in many contexts, agile testers may not have the time or the need to specify their tests in this much detail.

As an agile tester, I have worked on teams following a much leaner approach to sprint-level tests. We document the tests as high-level scenarios, with a one line description of the test and a column for details like any specific test data or the expected outcome. When executing these tests, the tester may add relevant information for future regression cycles, as well as document test results and any defects.

More examples and scenarios for learning leaner test document creation are included in the full article– Click here to read the full article

 

                 Are you interested in finding the right tool for your Agile processes? Here is a comprehensive assessment and comparison of the best agile tools available! 

https://thedigitalprojectmanager.com/agile-tools/

Prepared by Ben Aston, this list may be a useful guide for finding and selecting the best tool to support your agile journey. Check it out!

 

Happy Testing!

Nishi

The 12 Agile Principles: What We Hear vs. What They Actually Mean

The Agile Manifesto gives us 12 principles to abide by in order to implement agility in our processes. These principles are the golden rules to refer to when we’re looking for the right agile mindset. But are we getting the right meaning out of them?

In my latest article for Gurock TestRail blog, I examine what we mistakenly hear when we’re told the 12 principles, what pain points the agile team face due to these misunderstandings, and what each principle truly means.

 

Principle 1: Our Highest Priority is to Satisfy the Customer Through Early and Continuous Delivery of Valuable Software

What we hear: Let’s have frequent releases to show the customer our agility, and if they don’t like the product, we can redo it.

The team’s pain points: Planning frequent releases that aren’t thought out well increases repetitive testing, reduces quality and gives more chances for defect leakage.

What it really means: Agile requires us to focus on quick and continuous delivery of useful software to customers in order to accelerate their time to market.

Principle 2:

Check out the complete post here —- Click Here to Read more–>

 

Do share your stories and understanding of the 12 Agile Principles!

Cheers

Nishi

My interview with Thomas Cagley featured on SPaMCAST

I recently had a chance to chat with Mr. Thomas Cagley in an interview for his wonderful Podcast channel SPaMCAST. We talked all about Agile Testing, its differences from the traditional approach of testing, Agile Pods and the upcoming trends in the testing world!

It was a wonderful experience and I am grateful for having the chance to talk to one of the people I so look up to in the industry. Here is the link to the podcast show notes and info

http://spamcast.libsyn.com/spamcast-516-agile-testing-and-more-an-interview-with-nishi-grover-garg

Here is the link for Direct Playback: bit.ly/2QKvPvm

 

Hear it out and do share your thoughts!

Cheers

Nishi

 

Optimize Your Hardening Sprint for a Quality Advantage

A hardening sprint is an additional sprint that some teams run to stabilize the code and ensure that everything is ready just before release. Agile teams vary in their opinions on using hardening sprints in Scrum, but if your team does agree on having one before your release, there may be a lot to be done and varied expectations from the product owner, testers and developers. It may also lead to other work being delayed, leading to accumulation of technical debt.

In my article for Gurock TestRail Blog, I have discussed some tips on optimising the hardening sprint and achieving the maximum quality before release.

I talk in detail about some main points to focus on–

  • Plan Ahead
  • Perform End-to-End Testing
  • Perform Non-Functional Testing
  • Perform Tests on Other Platforms and Languages
  • Reduce Lower Priority Defect Counts
  • Use your sprint Wisely

Read the full article here — > https://blog.gurock.com/optimize-hardening-sprint/

Please share your thoughts!

Happy Testing!

Nishi

A Day in the Life of an Agile Tester

An agile tester’s work life is intriguing, busy and challenging. A typical day is filled with varied activities like design discussions, test planning, strategizing for upcoming sprints, collaborating with developers on current user stories, peer reviews for teammates, test execution, working with business analysts for requirement analysis and planning automation strategies.

In my article for Gurock TestRail blog, I have explored a typical day in the life of an agile tester and how varied activities and tasks keep her engaged, busy and on her toes all the time!

agile tester.png

Let’s sneak a peek into a day in the life of an agile tester — > You will go through the daily routine of an agile tester and will experience their complicated schedule in real time.

Read full article

https://blog.gurock.com/agile-tester-work-life/

 

ATA Bangalore 19th Meetup hosted @Coviam – Event Round Up

I, representing Agile Testing Alliance, organised and hosted the 19th ATA meetup @Bangalore on 28th July 2018 in association with CovaimTech . The event was themed as “The Future of Testing” and was aimed at bringing awareness on new trends in the world on agile, testing and devops.

Mr. Manoj Kumar Vijayaragavan (VP of QA Engineering, Coviam) gave an introductory talk about QA practices and technologies used at Coviam. We had speakers from Coviam present enlightening talks on topics like “Deployments at Scale” by Ankit Tripathi (DevOps Engineer) and “Integrating Microservices for continuous testing” by Viswanatha Reddy (Senior SDET, Coviam) , which were highly appreciated.

We also introduced for the first time in this meetup, the concept of Lightening talks, wherein we opened registrations for any interested delegate to take the stage and present any idea for a short 10-minute duration. This idea got two speakers Mr. SarathKumar M.V. presenting on Microsoft Azure testing capabilities and Mr. Rakesh Reddy talk about “Accessibility Testing Strategy”. The short and crisp talks brought out valuable discussions and garnered interest from the audience.

Our gracious hosts @Coviam had arranged for tea and we had a brief networking break.

Our third speaker was Ms. Bhavani Sruti from Moolya who presented a hands on session on Mobile App Performance Testing, wherein we engaged the audience in performing some tests on their own mobiles first-hand and explaining the various performance parameters for mobile apps.

The last segment of the meetup was the Agile Games. I along with Mr. Nagesh Deshpande from Cynosure had planned some quiz questions, and Pictionary words to play amongst the delegates divided into teams. The audience had the chance to win ATA goodies, and the teams were awarded with goodie bags! The delegates had loads of fun playing the games and thus the event ended on a high note!

Thus ending the event, we took part in lunch arranged, and discussing various other interesting ATA events coming up soon.

Here are a few glimpses of the event-

Talks-MeetupCoviamGames-MeetupCoviamFelicitations-MeetupCoviam

Looking forward to organising many more such events to encourage and bring together the testing community!

Cheers

Nishi

 

How To Convince Your Boss to adopt a Test Management Tool

Tips to Convince your Manager to Adopt a Test Management Tool

Working as a tester in today’s fast paced software delivery can be taxing. The advent of agile and DevOps has brought with it the need for faster and continuous testing, hence leaving no time for test content and management tasks. If you are a tester today then you may know what I mean and may already be bearing the brunt of manually creating, mapping, managing and tracking things like test documents, release versions, defects and their history, run reports and results and system health status at all times. You are craving for a solution and you know that will be a proper test management system. But you know the feeling when you are sure about something but your boss doesn’t seem to notice or care?

This happens often with test management tools, mainly because they are a part of process improvement and bosses may not care about ‘how’ the job is getting done as long as it is getting done! Most of the times your manager may not be aware of the features of the tool, the benefits it brings and its impact on your performance.

I recently wrote about the same in my guest post for PractiTest! Here is the link to my article for PractiTest QA Learning Centre  where I discuss ways you can convince your manager to adopt a test management tool using reasons he/she won’t be able to ignore!

  • Consider the manager’s goals
    tool image
  • Think of their pain points
  • Get your co-workers on board
  • Organise a Case Study
  • Really know the tool you want
  • Highlight additional integrations, features and value of the  tool
  • Take a Friendly approach

 

To read the complete article Click Here–>

I do hope that these tips help you convince your boss to get you the shiny new tool you need to make your life easier, you tests more manageable and your work more fun!

Please comment on the article and share your experiences!

-Nishi

P.S.

Image source – https://kendis.io/tag/scaled-agile-framework-tool/

 

Using a Combination of Scripted, Automated and Exploratory Testing for Optimum QA Coverage

Most test teams today are struggling to find better ways to handle their testing. With the advent of Agile in our software development processes, teams are perennially under pressure to provide faster releases without lowering their standards of quality. This, in turn, adds load on the in-house test teams to ensure finding more and crucial issues and to prevent defect leakage. For this reason, testers look at strategies and practices that can help them achieve their goals and add more value to the product’s quality.

In my opinion as a hands-on agile tester, there is no single silver bullet to quality, but a combination of different types and approaches to testing that can help us get closer to our quality goals. Test teams need to strategize and plan the usage of a combination of scripted tests, automated tests as well as exploratory tests for achieving an optimum coverage and best quality software.

Here is my latest article for PractiTest QA Learning Centre where I discuss the need to have a combination of scripted, automated as well as exploratory tests for an optimum QA coverage–

https://www.practitest.com/qa-learningcenter/thank-you/exploratory-testing-optimum-qa-coverage/ 

Scripted Tests

When we look at the typical test approach, it begins with test scripting and designing tests as per software functionality. These are created using requirement analysis and test design techniques and also using common sense and skills by our skilled testers. These scripted tests form the starting point of testing a new feature, change or addition in the software.

Automated Testing

In addition to running the scripted tests manually, testers also rely on automated tests. These tests are scripted using various test automation tools and test automation, i.e. ability to write these automated test scripts is, thus, a much-wanted skill nowadays for all test professionals. The ability to run some tests using automated scripts helps repeatability and saves a lot of time and effort on part of the test teams. But most importantly, by automating the drudgery away, it saves the tester from repeated manual laborious tests and frees up their time for more creative thinking and exploration around the application.

Exploratory Testing

Exploration of software is basically looking at the feature/functionality/change and overall behavior from a learning as well as a critical standpoint. Exploratory Testing is a crucial aspect of software testing, which almost every tester performs knowingly or subconsciously.

Cem Kaner coined the term Exploratory Testing in his book “Testing Computer Software” and described it as:

“Simultaneous test design, test execution and learning with an emphasis on learning”

https://www.practitest.com/qa-learningcenter/thank-you/exploratory-testing-optimum-qa-coverage/ 

Read More »

Is ‘testing’ holding you back? Stop being a bottleneck for software quality assurance

Why ‘testing’ might be holding back the quality of your software

Testing or Software QA, has traditionally been the last piece of the software delivery puzzle. Testing and finding bugs at the end of a release cycle was the norm.  However, fixing those defects, changing designs and redeveloping the features lead to more work done twice, more time spent on retesting and loads of regression. So, this approach meant testing held you back from your final goal of software quality assurance.

Being the last phase of the development process and mostly being stretched for time and resources, testing has been seen as a hold up for final delivery to market.

With the advent of Agile and DevOps the thought process has changed and the focus now continues to be more on software quality assurance throughout the development lifecycle. Testers today need to focus more on assuring quality than finding bugs.If testing prevents you from delivering on time and you become a bottleneck at the end of a release, you need to focus your efforts on other quality assurance activities, which may or may not be a 100% testing but are surely related to overall quality of your software.

In my article for PractiTest QA Learning Centre, I talk about how to overcome this. https://www.practitest.com/qa-learningcenter/thank-you/software-quality-assurance-bottleneck/

Training Developers how to test their code better

Reviews as checkpoints

Customer Focus Groups

Change in team’s Mindset

Tool Support

To read the complete article – Click here –>

Summary

If you feel testing is holding you back from right time deliveries and turning your team into a bottleneck at the end of the release, you need to focus your efforts more on quality assurance activities that are related to the overall quality of your software – and less on the actual execution of your tests. Hope the tips shared here will help out you and your team achieve the quality levels we dream of!

Thanks for reading!
Nishi

Pic Credits blog.commlabindia.com

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING THE RIGHT SOFTWARE FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Running a business in today’ tough competitive world is not everyone’s cup of tea. You need to be well ahead of your competitors in terms of marketing, services as well as technology. Being a business owner, you should always look up for software tailored for your business, which can simplify things for you, your customers or even your employees for that matter. Not only this, you should try to extract the best of possible from that software.

Many business owners are unaware of the advantages of having the right tools at hand. And those who realise it may lack the knowledge on choosing the correct software for their business. So here is a guide to such business owners about what factors they should keep in mind while choosing the right software for their business.

  • ANALYSE YOUR NEEDS

You should be clear in your mind about your needs. There are two kinds of software, one that is general to all kinds of business. For example, general accounting, and the other one which is specific to a particular kind of business. For example, a restaurant owner would need software which can manage recipe cost along with the front-of-house to back-of-house communication, or a manufacturing business may need a software which can track shipments and provide supply chain information.

  • THE COST INVOLVED

Cost is a really crucial factor in choosing a software. You have to see to it that whether you can reasonably afford to purchase new software for your business or not. And if it is a sure thing, then you should take into considerations the features that you will need both now and in the coming few years. You should not be willing to pay for bells and whistles or functions that are not required in your business. Before choosing a software, carefully analyse your needs and keep in mind not to alter your needs to fit the software.

Read More »