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In the final of our 3-part series on the importance of setting up an effective Agile QA process we cover off best practice implementation and recap the key points from part 1 and part 2.

While it is important to integrate QA processes in every step of the software development lifecycle, it is important to note that it should also not drastically impair the velocity at which the development process is running. According to BroswerStack, here are some of the best practices to consider when establishing a QA process.

  1. Make QA result-oriented

Agile development methods prioritise smaller goals and targets, to be handled in smaller increments with greater speed. To fit into this practice, QA processes must follow the same tactics – faster, more dynamic, and more focused on specific objectives.

  1. Prioritise transparency

Transparency benefits any developmental approach, but it is especially necessary for procuring Agile success. Testers must be very clear on what the software is expected to do, what features to test in each sprint, and what “good results” look like. This clarity helps teams to collaborate, test faster, and deliver results within short deadlines.

  1. Make QA an ongoing activity

Do not postpone testing until the end of the development cycle. As mentioned before, tests need to take place after every code commit. It must happen throughout each sprint, in a way that enables teams to identify issues early on.

  1. Implement DevOps

DevOps applies Agile practices to QA and Ops teams, streamlining build, validation, deployment, and development of software. It eliminates conflicts between development and QA teams, along with multiple other advantages:

  • Provides greater control over the production environment to developers
  • Improves the frequency of deployment
  • Lowers failure rate of new software releases
  • Improves mean time to recovery
  • Increases speed and quality of released software
  • Achieves faster time to market

I hope you’ve found this series useful in understanding how you should approach the implementation of an Agile QA process in your organisation.  Our experience at Sensei shows that most of our clients are now working in development environments where Agile is in use and this requires a specific approach to manage effective quality assurance.   

To recap:

  • The QA process for Agile product development is important to get right as it flushes out key software risks that provide both stakeholders and development teams with a level of confidence in the product. Without it, a released software product could be quite unreliable which may result in some serious damage to a company’s reputation.
  • Before implementing an Agile QA process, it is necessary to understand the QA stages involved and how these fit in the Agile software development lifecycle. Also invest some time gaining a good understanding of the product being developed and it’s intended end user audience.
  • The Agile QA process begins as soon as the user story is written and acceptance criteria has been set, and involves requirements analysis, test planning, and test execution and bug reporting specific to the product being developed.
  • Agile QA processes from previous organisations may not work or fit all scenarios in your current organisation so it’s good to know how to setup your own framework from scratch so you can hit the ground running.

Refer to Parts 1 and 2 of this series covering the importance of the Agile QA process and the 5 steps to follow to set up an effective Agile QA process from scratch.

By Alvin Maranan

Test Engineer

Alvin has 10 years experience in manual and automated testing. Having ISTQB Advanced Level Test Analyst and Technical Test Analyst certifications under his belt, he seeks to continuously improve both manual and automated testing practices and establish robust QA processes to ensure high quality outcomes.