“Agile” is probably one of the most used terms as well as a widely used software development strategy in the modern tech world. Well, in short, it is the method of putting the software development, testing, and deployment, the three main steps in a cycle form allowing a constant collaboration among the product team, stakeholders, and everyone involved in the project. Though it also involves software development and deployment in its operating procedure, we will be primarily focusing on the testing part to explore how it revolutionized the software testing process.
What Is Agile?
Agile is the method of implementing continuous iteration throughout the product’s life cycle. That means in this approach, unlike the few massive steps in the waterfall model, numerous small iterations are performed for every step like planning, designing, development, feedback, testing, deployment, etc. This method makes it easier for every team (e.g. designers, developers, testers, etc.) as well as stakeholders and senior management professionals to collaborate at any stage of the process. A successful agile model consists of seamless collaboration among everyone involved in a project and their efficient contributions that keep the CI/CD pipeline stable. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the important pillars of this popular methodology.
Agile Methodologies Overview
It is a universal fact that to create a revolution with something, it must be based on some constructive values. Similarly, Agile methodologies are the foundation of the revolution in the modern software development life cycle. Hence, it must also stand on some solid core values and it actually does. Let’s check out those values below.
- Individual and team interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Agile Project Management
The main role of agile in project management is to break down the massive process into small cycles. The main foundation of this approach is a constant and effective collaboration among stakeholders and working teams. After the project begins, the teams go through small cycles of planning, executing, analyzing, and evaluating. All these can be done in a stable way based on seamless collaboration among everyone involved in the project.
Why Should You Choose Agile?
No matter how beneficial anything is, if it doesn’t fulfill your requirements, it is never a good choice for you. So, why should you choose agile as the software development methodology that will bring you some benefits? Well, that’s what we are going to find out through the following points.
- Unlike the waterfall model, an agile model does not require the team to plan for a long time, execute the steps, and then destroy all those efforts for any feedback that is different from the plan. Acting quickly on feedback through small cycles helps the teams save a lot of time.
- Focusing on “just enough” planning and working (developing and releasing) in small cycles with frequent increments lets the team implement the feedback at a lower cost.
- As you previously got to know, the foundation of agile methodology is robust communication among everyone involved in the project. Such efficient communication leads the teams to prioritize delivering the actual solution to the users rather than wasting time making arrangements.
- The other two important pillars of an agile team’s success are “shared vision” and “taking the responsibility for your own work”. Small agile teams share their vision with each other and then put their best into getting the best outcome for every team’s work. This approach may look very basic and scary at first but if every team member is trusted by the leaders and is provided with the necessary space, the overall results will become beyond imagination.
These are the reasons that can convince you to accept agile methodology as the most efficient software development approach you can use. Now, in the further sections of this article, you can find out more points that stand by the supremacy of the agile system.
Agile Model vs Waterfall Model
Let’s take a look at a detailed comparison between the modern agile model and the traditional waterfall model.
Definition: Agile model means working in small iterations with frequent increments to software development.
Definition: In the waterfall model, the steps to develop a software flow move in a sequential pattern.
Multiple releases in the continuous integration and continuous delivery method allow the users to check out the product at different points while the whole process is going on.
A single release at the end of the complete process allows the users to take a look at the product only after the completion of the complete process.
The agile model consists of multiple small cycles or models that different teams work on.
The waterfall model consists of a complete single project that the entire team works on.
The Agile model is often considered unstructured compared to the waterfall model.
The waterfall model means huge movements throughout the development cycle so, it needs detailed planning that must have a proper structure.
It allows you to fix errors in the middle of the project.
Errors can be found only by the end of the project, and if there is any requirement for changes, the project needs to be started from the beginning.
As this approach is based on small iterations of operations, you can easily implement small projects using this method. But, for large projects, it is quite difficult to estimate the development time.
As this approach has a one-dimensional flow, all forms of projects can easily be estimated and efficiently completed.
In this approach, documentation has less priority than software development.
In this approach, documentation is one of the top priorities as they are used for training staff and as a help in upgrading the software with another team.
The development process is iterative and the complete process consists of short (2 - 4 weeks) iterations. Hence, it can go on with very little planning.
The development process is phased and usually, a phase is much bigger than an iteration. Hence, this process depends on in-depth planning and every phase must end with a detailed description of the next phase.
In this approach, you can ship the deliverables to the customer whenever an iteration ends. The new features are usable right after the shipment, but that can work out only when you have good contact with your customers.
All features are delivered at once only after the long implementation phase is completed.
In an agile model, every iteration has its own testing phase so, regression tests can be performed every time a new function or logic is tested.
The testing phase is executed only after the development phase ends because separate parts do not perform all functions.
User Acceptance Test is performed at the end of every sprint.
User Acceptance Test is performed only at the end of the project.
In this approach, testers and developers work together.
In this approach, testers and developers work separately.
As this approach is based on small iterations of all necessary steps, it requires very close communication between testers and developers. They analyze the requirements and planning together.
Developers are not involved in requirements and planning. Also, there are noticeable time delays between tests and coding.
Applications of Agile Methodology
- Since its inception, Agile has been a highly preferred approach in the software development and IT application development process.
However, presently it has extended to other fields also, especially in the knowledge and service industries.
- Using agile methodology, you can stay responsive to the market and customers. That means you can quickly respond to the needs and demands of the customers, and change the direction whenever the situation demands.
- Whether it is the IT software development field or any other field with a flow of work and delivery of work products, agile methodologies help you to maximize the delivery of value to the customers and minimize the risk of building products that no longer meet market demands or customer needs.
- The above achievements are met by breaking up the traditionally long waterfall model and working in small iterations that make you work based on quick feedback and make changes accordingly.
- That faster feedback is resulted by the reduction in delivery time and keeping on delivering smaller vertical chunks of the product in small intervals.
- Agile is an umbrella term for various planning, management, and technical methods along with processes for managing projects, developing software and other products & services in small iterations. These methods include Scrum, which is evidently the most popular method for software, and XP (eXtreme Programming or Paired Programming). Kanban is another popular methodology that comes under agile.
- Agile consists of efficient technical practices that are part of DevOps, the widely renowned umbrella term involving crucial processes such as test automation, continuous Integration & continuous delivery/deployment (CI/ CD), and overall, an effective delivery cycle for software and other products & services.
Agile methodologies are some of the most efficient project management practices that are experiencing exponential growth for a long time, and experts predict that this approach will become more widely accepted in upcoming years.
Agile methodologies are undoubtedly some of the most effective and useful approaches for boosting your software development and testing process. This article clearly tells you every detail and specification of the highly effective agile model and lets you know why it is much more advantageous than the traditional waterfall approach. We suggest you go through every minute detail mentioned in this article to take the first step in adapting this futuristic software development and testing methodology.
However, knowing an efficient methodology is not the end of the work. You must use equally capable and efficient software development and testing tools to achieve the best results. And, as we always say, an advanced AI-based automated testing tool like Preflight can exempt you from a huge load of executing complex test cases at every iteration in the agile process.
Now, as we mentioned the name of Preflight, we must mention this simple browser extension can easily do remarkable things by letting anyone create, run, and manage complex test cases regardless of his/her coding knowledge.
Well, don’t be. How it does those wonders can be known in-depth from the article “10 Amazing Software Testing Benefits From Preflight In 2022”. So, check it out and go through other informative tech articles on our blog page, and let us know about your experience.
Meanwhile, we are constantly improving the infrastructure of our popular products that you can check out on our website. For any queries, feel free to reach out to us anytime.