‘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

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

 

Crafting User Stories That Agile Teams Will Love

A popular term you will come across when working in agile is the “user story.” For the uninitiated, a user story is a technique of expressing software requirements in a specific format, usually:

As a < role of user >, I want to < perform an action >, so that < goal of user >

This adds more detail and description, and it’s sure to include the real need of the user when expressing the requirements.

For agile teams, user stories are a typical way to begin a conversation about a feature. But issues arise when we stop adding more beyond the one-line user story format. Most agile teams are crippled by incomplete, ambiguous and vague user stories that lack depth and details.

In my experience, there are some ways we can ensure that the user stories we craft are usable and valuable in all aspects. In my latest article for Gurock TestRail Blog, I talk about strategies to craft meaningful, understandable and valuable user stories for your agile teams.

We discuss INVEST Principle of User Stories, 3Cs of a User Story and how to learn from Experience of past sprints to improve your user stories. Read the full article here-

https://blog.gurock.com/crafting-user-stories-agile-teams/ 

Cheers

Nishi

5 Mistakes to avoid in Agile Retrospectives

Retrospectives are an integral part of every project we undertake, as well as a key ceremony in the Scrum lifecycle. Agile principally stresses the need to perform periodic meetings to reflect on the functioning of the team, their processes and actions and try to improve their shortcomings, so retrospectives are essential. The team gets to look back on their work and answer three key questions: What went well? What did not go well? How can we improve?

Even if agile teams perform retrospectives as a regular part of their project lifecycle, there are a few common mistakes they may be making due to a lack of understanding, perspective or communication, and these mistakes can prevent obtaining the maximum benefits of the retrospective.

In my article for Gurock TestRail blog, I have discussed five common mistakes that we must avoid in Agile Retrospectives.

 

Click Here to Read more

Do let me know your thoughts!

Cheers

Nishi

 

Key QA and testing takeaways from the Agile manifesto

My first article for Global App Testing blog is now published at

https://www.globalapptesting.com/blog/key-qa-and-testing-takeaways-from-the-agile-manifesto

             >>>Agile testing leaves very little time for documentation. It relies on quick and innovative test case design rather than elaborate test case documents with detailed steps or results. This mirrors the values of Exploratory Testing. When executed right, it needs only lightweight planning with the focus on fluidity without comprehensive documentation or test cases. 

From a QA viewpoint, we can learn from the Agile Manifesto key goals; communication, efficiency, collaboration and flexibility. If you improve your QA team in these areas, it will have a positive effect on your QA strategy and company growth.

>>>The Manifesto for Agile Software Development forms the golden rules for all Agile teams today. It gives us four basic values, which assure Agilists a clearer mindset and success in their Agile testing.

Although these values are mostly associated with Agile development, they equally apply to all phases, roles and people within the Agile framework, including Agile testing. As we know, Agile testers’ lives are different, challenging and quite busy. They have a lot to achieve and contribute within the short Agile sprints or iterations, and are frequently faced with dilemmas about what to do and how to prioritise, add value and contribute more to the team.

The frequent nature of development in Agile teams means the testing methods used need to respond to change quickly and easily. In that way, Agile testing shares some important characteristics with exploratory testing.

In this article I examine the four values of the Agile manifesto to find the answers to an Agile tester’s dilemmas and improve their testing efforts. Read More

Please give it a read and share your thoughts!

Happy Testing!

Nishi

 

Is Excel holding back your testing?

My guest post @PractiTest QA Learning center

As testers, we all worked with Excel at some point in our career. If you are using
excel now this article is for you 🙂 Excel is used as test management, documentation
and reporting tool by many test teams. At early stages, most teams rely on excel
spreadsheets for planning and documenting tests, as well as reporting test
results. As teams grow, sharing information using excel sheets becomes problematic.
What used to be easy and intuitive, becomes very challenging. Encountering
difficult work scenarios like the below, becomes a day-to-day reality:

  • The simple task of figuring out which excel has the test cases you need to run, takes longer and longer.
  • Gathering the status of the testing tasks and your project can only be done by going to each desk one by one and asking them.
  • A tester mistakenly spent 6 hours running wrong tests in the wrong environment because of an incorrect excel sheet which was not the updated copy.
  • Tester’s routinely lose their work or test results because of saving/ overwriting or losing their excel sheets.
  • Most test activities are not being documented or accounted for because writing tests is considered a luxury.

excel--img

If one or more of these scenarios sound familiar to you, you are being held back in
your testing efforts by excel!

In my latest guest post for PractiTest, I have written about how excel can be a roadblock instead of a useful tool for your testing. To read the complete article, click here—->

In here I talk about issues related with use of excel in relation to

  • Visibility within the test team
  • Configuration Management of test items
  • Test Planning and Execution
  • Test Status and Reporting

Please give it a read and share your thoughts!

Cheers!

Nishi

 

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