How To Compliment Software Outsourcing With Agile Development? 

As technology advances at a breakneck pace, speed and adaptability have become critical for fulfilling client requirements. While traditional project management systems such as the waterfall approach are incredibly precise and controlled, they do not foster adaptation or feedback.

However, firms across a variety of sectors have succeeded in transforming the way their projects are managed through the use of the Agile development technique. Businesses whose primary business is software development have profited the most from the Agile methodology. 

Today, the value of agile methods in software development is well recognized. Not to mention, the benefits are only brought to those who are clear on what precisely to expect from a software development service provider. Agile improves your development team’s effectiveness and results in a more coordinated project management strategy. Therefore, thorough research before hiring makes a lot of sense in order to work on your expectations.

Along with the increasing popularity of Agile software development, another trend is picking up quickly, and with good reason is software outsourcing. Outsourcing software development has overtaken in-house development as the second most popular trend in the industry. 

Indeed, several businesses have begun to include agile methodologies into their offshore development processes as well. Their purpose is to combine the cost savings associated with outsourcing with the adaptability associated with agile development procedures. However, this begs the following question:

Is it possible for software outsourcing and agile development to coexist?

IT  Outsourcing is a widely used method of accelerating corporate operations and making them more efficient and competitive. Outsourcing enables organizations or independent software vendors to accelerate project delivery. Given the benefits that both Agile and Outsourcing provide to the software development cycle, collaborating on a project is undoubtedly a good option.

Coordination with an overseas team, on the other hand, might be challenging owing to a lack of face-to-face contact, cultural differences, and time zone differences, among other factors. Meanwhile, if a strategic strategy is used to integrate these masterstrokes for software development, the project delivery cycle may be accelerated and elevated.

To overcome the obstacles that collaboration between Agile and Outsourcing entails, both sides (companies and technology partners) must work together. The below section explores some effective strategies for establishing a successful Agile-Outsourcing relationship.

How To Compliment Software Outsourcing With Agile Development?

1. Choose A Trustworthy/Skilled Technology Partner

A technology partner is a business that comprehends the underlying concept of the program and assists in its execution. To begin, a comprehensive investigation of the organization should be conducted, determining whether their portfolio and prior expertise are applicable to your project. Thus, a set of indicators may be reviewed to determine whether the technology partner has the capability to execute a project according to the needs and standards established in advance. 

2. Assess the Team as a Whole, Not Individuals

Finding excellent programmers with extraordinary talents is not a difficult task for customers wishing to outsource a software project. Agile development, on the other hand, necessitates a high level of team participation; it is all about collaboration, not individual perfection. Each team member is critical to the project’s success, and each member must feel at ease cooperating with others, whether in offshore locations or in their own nation. 

As a result, the programmers’ track record in a team context is more essential than their individual accomplishments. Consider utilizing behavioral interviewing techniques to pick team members in the same way that you would when employing staff for your business.

3. Interact

To flourish as an outsourced and Agile software firm, there is a need for adjustment, since these two concepts do not always mesh well. To be successful, it is necessary to carefully modify the Agile software development process as well as the communication channels between the customer and the outsourced provider.

4. Mitigation of Risk

Everybody will claim to be agile. Therefore, if you are otherwise satisfied with the provider, condition awarding the project on a successful iteration/sprint that results in the delivery of functioning software to you. Make Certain that your sprints are brief. Define the success criteria in detail, including acceptance tests and the delivery timetable, as well as any additional criteria that are critical to you and your business. Following each sprint, you’ll have the chance to evaluate the offshore team’s performance, make required improvements, and lead the project in the correct path.

After analyzing the team’s performance and working style, you should be able to determine whether you can accomplish your business objectives while collaborating with this offshore team.

Conclusion

Embedding agile practices throughout the IT department is a journey – a lengthy one. By enlisting a vendor as a partner on the journey, businesses may alter their IT development while retaining the benefits of outsourcing. This dispersed agile partnership necessitates collaboration on a variety of levels, as well as the ability to learn from and adapt to the outcomes. The incentives are substantial for those that do it right, including much cheaper costs, access to a big pool of technology-savvy labor, and the capacity to operate constantly and fast across different time zones.

<This is a guest post by Emily Cooper.>

Author Bio – Emily Cooper is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of software development, .NET and Dedicated Software Development. 

<Image Credits – Unsplash.com>

How to create a document outlining your Test Strategy?

With the software revolution, all excellent project managers know that if you hasten into the testing process, that particular project is considered to face a lot of issues. 

Working with the best test management software and its particular strategy planned before testing starts is essential because software becomes more complicated with more sequences of code to evaluate. 

Without a definite outline to develop, the QA team might not be sure what their duties are, what type of testing should be performed first and how the project’s progress is being determined.

The initial action to developing a test plan is to understand what you are attempting to perform with the testing strategy document as it will change software testing strategies. 

According to this post created by TatvaSoft experts, the purpose of a test plan is to describe the complete scope of the QA method from both a comprehensive and granular standard. 

Let’s take a look at one of their sections and understand why they consider that having a Test Plan for every business is beneficial— 

A Test Plan is a thorough document that outlines the test strategy, objectives, timeline, estimation, deliverables, and resources needed to execute software testing. The Test Plan assists us in determining the amount of work required to confirm the quality of the application being tested. The test plan is a blueprint for conducting software testing operations as a well-defined procedure that is meticulously documented. Read More 

The software testing approach helps to create a test plan as it is one of the most essential aspects of the complete testing process, as it describes accurately what the testing team requires to succeed and how to proceed to achieve those aims. Test Strategy is a crucial part of the Test Plan.

The task of writing a whole document test strategy from start may seem daunting, especially for bigger projects. If QA managers need a systematic approach to this responsibility, however, they’ll discover that planning and compiling an efficient and comprehensive test strategy isn’t so hard.

Here are a few tips for your team’s benefit-

Steps To Create A Test Plan Using Best Test Strategies!

Understand the product or feature you’re testing

We will begin with one of the essential aspects of software testing strategy, which is having a broad knowledge of the product or feature before you begin developing a test plan for it. 

For instance, let’s assume you’ve just worked over a website redesign and need to test it before you launch it in the market. For that, you will require to know these below-mentioned factors: 

  • Discuss with the designer and developer to know the extent, goals, and functionality of the website.
  • Review the project documentation which is developed by the project manager that includes SOW, project plan, and the responsibilities in the project management tool.
  • Conduct a product examination to know the functionality, user movement, and defects.

This action provides you with the setting to write a good test strategy document, purposes and begin to plan out the sources you’ll require to create it.

Define the test objectives and their criteria

As you describe every other test you’re continuing to work on, you are required to apprehend when your test is “finished.” 

This implies establishing the pass and fail standards for each particular test, and some of the information we can discuss, such as departure and delay criteria.

To perform this, you’ll need to recognise different system metrics that you’re monitoring and select what progress means for them. 

For instance, if you were working on a performance test you need these measures to succeed:

  • Response time: Complete time to forward a request and receive a response.
  • Average load time: Average time it needs to address all requests.
  • Peak response time: The most extended time it needs to complete a request.
  • Wait time: It is the duration it needs to get the first byte after a demand is sent.
  • Requests per second: The number of requests it can manage during that one second.
  • Events passed/failed: The whole number of passed or failed requests.

Don’t worry you can proceed with testing and repeating forever. So you are required to determine what’s best for your software out and in the palms of users.

Plan the test environment

The outcomes of your test plan always depend on the point you’re testing as well as the environment you’re testing it in. 

As a component of the test strategy document scope, you are required to decide what hardware, software, operating system, and tool compounds you’re running to test.

This is a condition where it pays to be particular. For instance, if you’re going to define an operating system to be utilised throughout the test plan, specify the OS edition/version rather than just mentioning the name.

Define Test Objective

Test Objective is the complete purpose and performance of the test execution. The purpose of the testing is to discover as many software errors as possible; guarantee that the software during the test is bug-free before release.

To determine the test purposes, you need to perform these 2 steps:

  • Record all the software features such as functionality, appearance, and GUI that may require testing.
  • Determine the purpose or the object of the test according to features

Use these steps to get the test goal of your testing project

Also, you can use the ‘TOP-DOWN’ approach to discover the website’s features that may require testing. In this process, you break down the app following the test to component and sub-component.

Conclusion

The test strategy document provides a definite concept of what the test team will perform for the entire project. It is a latent document that means it won’t fluctuate during the project life cycle. 

The one who prepares this document must have enough expertise in the product field, as this is the record that is running to manage the complete team, and it won’t fluctuate during the project. 

Test strategy documents need to be distributed to the complete testing team before the testing ventures start.

<This is a guest post by Matthew Jones – who is a tech enthusiast. and he likes to share his bylines.>

Speaking from Home

Conferences, events and meetups are all things I enjoy. I have been an organizer, speaker & presenter, host and volunteer at many events. When 2020 started, I had big hopes and plans of travelling to speak at multiple international events and also had a few local Bangalore events lined up. But the world had to face a pandemic and everything came to a screeching halt.

As many of you, I was disheartened too. But I still hoped for things to get better, thinking we might get to some of the events at least. Things are different now. We now know that this lifestyle is here to stay. We have been working, learning, recruiting, networking and meeting remotely and might have to continue to do so for a while.

But where does this put the life of a ‘speaker’ – someone who enjoys speaking, being invited to attend and talk at events?

Well, I would like to highlight how I have been pleasantly surprised by the state of our events and their emergence from all the cancellations, losses and hearbreaks!

In the past 6 months, I have spoken at more events I would have normally! I have had the chance to connect with multiple events in various ways and all of them have shown me the resilience of our community.

TestBash Home 2020

It started with TestBash Home. Since TestBash Detroit was cancelled where I was to speak in April this year, I was invited to speak at the Testbash Home. It was a unique and fun event handled superbly by the MoT team. I have written in detail about the event and my experience here – https://testwithnishi.com/2020/05/07/my-experience-speaking-at-testbash-home/

TribalQonf , STeP-In Summit, Test Leadership Congress 2020

I was invited by Mahesh Chikane to speak at the TribalQonf which was a great opportunity. I presented about Adopting a Risk Based Test Approach and my talk was appreciated for which I am always #grateful !

My talk at TribalQonf

The event was organised well and I am glad to be a part of this superb round up video along with some awesome speakers!

Read More »

4 Exit Criteria your User Stories must have

Planning and developing new features at the fast pace of agile is a hard game. Knowing when you are really done and ready to deliver is even harder.

Having predetermined exit criteria helps you be able to make the decision that a feature is truly ready to ship. In my article published at TestRail Blog, I compiled a list of exit criteria you must add to your user story to make it easy to bring conformity and quality to all your features.

All Tasks Are Completed

This first one sounds obvious, but it may not be. I still see many teams struggling with getting their testing done within the sprint. Developers work on a user story and deem it done, while testers are left to play catch-up in the next sprint.

Put that practice to an end once and for all by making sure that no user story can be proclaimed done without having all tasks under it completed, including development tasks, testing tasks, design and review tasks, and any other tasks that were added to the user story at the beginning.

Ensuring all tasks are completed in a sprint also mandates that you begin thinking in depth about each user story and the tasks necessary for each activity to be completed, so that you do not miss out on anything at the end.

Tests Are Automated Whenever Possible

As our agile teams move toward continuous delivery and adopting DevOps, our testing also needs to be automated and made a part of our pipelines. Ensuring that test automation gets done within the sprint and is always up to pace with new features is essential.

By having test automation tasks be a part of a user story delivery, you can keep an eye out for opportunities to automate tests you are creating, allocate time to do that within the sprint, and have visibility of your automation percentages.

I have used the following exit criteria:

  • At a minimum, regression tests for the user story must be added to the automation suite
  • At least 50% of tests created for the user story must be automated
  • Automated regression must be run at least once within the sprint

Depending on what your automation goals are, decide on a meaningful standard to apply to all your user stories.

Read More »

Understanding Burnout Symptoms in Tech Workers

Work in the tech industry is very demanding. We pointed out before in our article entitled ‘Mental Health for People in Tech’ that this industry is characterized not only by long work hours, but also high stress and great pressure to perform well — all of which can adversely impact your mental health. Not only that, but they can also cause burnout, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a syndrome caused by chronic and unmanaged workplace stress. Sadly, we often fail to recognize when we are suffering from it.

That said, this article will help you identify burnout symptoms so you can understand this syndrome better for yourself and for those around you who might be experiencing it too.

The Symptoms

The following are some warning signs of burnout:

Irritability and indifference

Tech Republic notes in an article on burnout warning signs that being irritable and indifferent are telltale signs of burnout. Granted, getting irritated is a normal reaction — but if it happens more than usual or if you end up snapping at someone for the smallest reason, you’re likely burned out. The same holds true when both your attention to detail and job interest wane. This increasing detachment is one of the three dimensions of burnout, according to the WHO.

Exhaustion

It’s normal to feel tired at the end of your work shift, but if you feel drained just hours (or even minutes) after starting work, then you’re probably burned out. This energy depletion is yet another dimension of burnout, and it can be exacerbated by the long hours expected of you.

Read More »

Upcoming Talks and Events 2020

The year 2020 has started on a good note. I am excited to have been invited to speak at amazing events. Here is a list of my upcoming talks and events–

The details of each of these events and my talks can be found at their respective websites at->

Selenium Day : https://seleniumday.com/

DevopsCon Singapore: https://devopscon.io/singapore/program-singapore/

TestBash Detroit: https://www.ministryoftesting.com/events/testbash-detroit-2020

Looking forward to each of these!

*********UPDATE********

Things changes drastically as 2020 progressed.

Events have been postponsed / cancelled / moved online due to lockdowns due to COVID-19 Pandemic

You will find new details of the events , schedule and my talks in later posts.

**************************

Guest Talk at Qapitol QA

I was invited by Ajay Balamurugadas to present a guest talk at his organisation Qapitol QA for their enthusiastic test team. I spoke about Layers of Test Automation to design a robust test automation framework. The topic was well received and the testers in audience showed keen interest and had some good questions! It was a good experience visiting and meeting the team and presenting a short demo of Sahi Pro too!

The testers at Qapitol QA are surely an inquisitive lot with a dynamic attitude and quest for learning. They showed a lot of interest in Sahi Pro as a tool, and also about test automation in general. I like to encourage such talent and help them in any possible way. I wish to continue the relationship and see them again in future events.

The Value of Risk-Based Testing from an Agile ViewPoint

When I first heard about risk-based testing, I interpreted it as an approach that could help devise a targeted test strategy. Back then I was working with a product-based research and development team. We were following Scrum and were perpetually working with tight deadlines. These short sprints had lots to test and deliver, in addition to the cross-environment and non-functional testing aspects.

Learning about risk-based testing gave me a new approach to our testing challenges. I believed that analyzing the product as well as each sprint for the impending risk areas and then following them through during test design and development, execution and reporting would help us in time crunches.

But before I could think about adopting this new found approach into our test planning, I had a challenge at hand: to convince my team.

In my recent article published at Gurock’s blog site , I have written about my experience on exploring risk based testing and convincing my agile team about its importance and relevance using their own sprints’ case study.

Using the analysis of a sprint’s user stories, calculating Risk Priority Number (RPN) and the Extent of Testing defined, I was able to showcase in my own team’s case study, ways our testing could benefit and better itself by following risk based approach in a simplified manner.

Risk Priority Number

To read the complete article, Click Here–> 

In the article I talk about–

  • Tackling the Agile Challenges
  • Benchmarking Risks and a Focused Approach
  • Improving Test Process and Results

Do share your thoughts on Risk Based Testing!

Cheers

Nishi

 

 

 

Guest Talk @ ETMarlabs meetup for EUROSTAR 2017 #magicoftestinginindia

I was invited to present a guest talk at the meetup organised by ET Marlabs team for EUROSTAR 2017 on 9th Sep 2017- being the first of its kind in India and I gladly obliged! Presented a talk on Agile Manifesto and its learning for keen testers and answering our dilemmas in agile testing. The talk was very well received and brought out some great discussions with the participants. I was accompanied by another guest speaker Mr. Vinay Krishna who spoke about Behavior Driven Development BDD framework using Cucumber which was a very informative session too.

The team at ET Marlabs had also organised some great activities, testing relay game and quiz for the participants which brought out their testing minds and enthusiasm , which was well rewarded too! I would like to thank them for their kind invitation and would encourage them to organise and participate in more such community events!

Have a glimpse here –

http://highonblog.com/teamstar-2017-the-magic-of-testing-meetup-in-india/ 

My talk at the UNICOM World Quality Summit 2017, Bangalore

Hello Friends,

I was recently invited to speak at the World Quality Summit 2017 organised by UNICOM at The Leela Palace, Bangalore. The event saw attendees from many teams from Pune, Gurgaon and the city itself who participated in the Quality Olympiad. It was a good mix of audience and lots of interesting talks and discussions during the sessions.

I spoke on the Practical risks in Agile teams and Ways how testers can help build-in continuous quality in Agile projects.It was a great experience, met some great people and enthusiastic teams and got awarded the Thought leadership Certificate by UNICOM!

Check it out!

 

Cheers

Nishi