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How Does Agile Speed Up The Software Development Cycle
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The global digital revolution where individuals, businesses, organizations, and even governments are aiming at creating an online presence faces a slew of challenges. These include rising competition, complying with stringent regulatory standards, growing cyber security threats, and meeting customer expectations. Businesses, in order to stay competitive, need to deliver better quality products or services in shorter turnarounds with a provision for continuous improvement and delivery. Since software applications and the devices enabling them offer customers attributes like convenience, user friendliness, and time/cost savings, businesses have their task cut out. They are constantly under pressure to build applications with reduced time-to-market while keeping the latter’s quality and customer centricity top-notch. These are needed to stay competitive and retain or expand the market share.
Achieving the above-mentioned objectives can hit a roadblock thanks to the slow traditional waterfall model of software development. Here, the testing of a software application follows its development. Should the testing process come across glitches or bugs, the same are redirected to the development team for correction. The constant to-and-fro movement of a software application in the waterfall model results in delays. Moreover, since the waterfall model of testing is manual in character, the effectiveness of testing gets compromised. To get around the issue, businesses have begun using agile testing in a big way.
What is an agile testing approach?
Unlike the waterfall model, agile involves the development and testing of software applications concurrently. Here, cross functional teams (development and testing) operate in close collaboration wherein a code is validated in accordance with its expected outcome. An important facet of agile testing is the creation of a Scrum framework with scrum master as the facilitator. In a scrum, teams self-organize, drive changes (if any) and address complex problems. Let us find out how agile software testing can accelerate the process of software development. Importantly, fixing glitches earlier in the SDLC saves time, resources and cost.
Key Agile testing methods to accelerate software development
# Apply continuous integration: The objectives of incorporating agile is to establish an iterative process of software development involving continuous planning, testing, and integration. It allows people in the development and testing teams to collaborate in order to further quick decision making. One of the shortcomings of the traditional waterfall model is the delay in achieving code integration post testing. However, agile testing services put emphasis on continuous integration whereby the integrated code is placed in a shared repository for validation by an automated build. The aim is to build, test, and integrate the codes frequently for better identification of glitches.
# Automate testing: The agile testers write automated test scripts to check the codes against a host of parameters. This way, various aspects of a software application such as performance, usability, security, and functionality among others are validated against expected outcomes. Since automated test scripts can run non-stop 24x7 covering a wide scope of testing variables, there is a dramatic rise in the number of glitches identified unlike in its manual equivalent. As glitches are mitigated quickly and effectively, the process of software development is accelerated.
# Risk taking ability: Since the agile testing experts (and developers) can cut down risks by identifying and eliminating glitches early in the SDLC, the scope of failure decreases. This is achieved thanks to a constant communication and feedback mechanism adopted by the teams. With a reduction in the quantum of risks, the developers get better leeway to innovate and improve the quality of software with better features and functionalities.
# Better flexibility: When the development and testing teams collaborate in a sprint, there is better communication and exchange of ideas. To explain with an example, should a team think a approach to a proposed solution can give effective and timely results, the agile testing services have the requisite flexibility to adopt the same. Since the market dynamics and user preferences are changing faster than expected, the flexibility in the development and testing process is needed to meet the business objectives.
The Agile testing strategy is transparent, collaborative, and flexible. It encourages the exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing. Also, the responsibility of driving quality in the SDLC is a shared responsibility, which keeps everyone on their toes and prevents blame game should something go awry. The Agile testing methodology helps the businesses stay ahead in the competition curve besides engendering a culture of innovation.
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