Agile Software Development Life Cycle
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In Agile development model each sprint has phases of requirements, design, development and testing. In the development phase, development team concentrates on new features to be developed and unit testing around it. But it misses on the regression of existing working functionality. This leads to defect seepage from Development phase to Test phase. Consequence of it is late defect identification, reporting, fixing and re-verification of the defect. This defect cycle continues till it is fixed.
The drawback of this approach is project teams put in extra effort of identifying defects and reporting. Late identification of defects also leads to risk of schedule slippage.
Here in this article is a mechanism proposed to minimize defect leakage from development phase to testing phase in agile software development life cycle by moving the regressed automated scripts from testing phase to development phase.
The advantages of this approach of agile software development are :
Early identification of defects in already working functionality.
Development teams can use the regressed automation pieces as and when required to ensure that their new code is not introducing bugs in already existing functionality.
Earlier identification of any requirement or design misses.
It would save effort invested in reporting and documentation of the bug.
Would help in restricting schedule slippages due to bugs being identified in later stages.
It would further remove chances of test phase misses of bugs in already working functionality.
Brief overview of Agile Software development Life Cycle:
In agile software development life cycle the product or solution is first divided into features which need to be developed. If there are new features identified in the midst of complete product release it again gets planned across sprints. Agile Sprint duration is decided based on feature to be developed. Every sprint goes through the phases of Requirement, Design, Development and Testing phase.
In the requirements phase, software requirements are framed.
In the Design phase, design of the product / solution to be done is come up with. Here test team understands the requirements and comes up with a test strategy / plan to proceed with testing of the piece being developed.
In the Development phase, Developers are actively involved in writing source for solutions to be provided and then in unit testing of the functionalities developed. Here the test team is involved in writing test cases for functionalities being developed.
In the Test phase, Manual testing happens on the basis of test cases written. Automation testing for the test cases automated is also done. Here the development team is involved in fixing the bugs reported and test team re-verifies it.
While identifying the test cases to be automated, the first choices are those test cases which need to be run in each regression run. In SDLC mode of development as new features keep being added, test cases are added to automation suite. This keeps increasing the regression automation bed.
As the new suites are added to automation bed they mature only after multiple runs in that sprint. After sprint is over the automated regression suite is also stable to be used without any hiccups.
Using an agile mode of development, means the functionality developed in the last sprint would be integrated with the new functionality developed. This leads to changes in modules developed in previous sprints, which may result in bugs in the already developed functionality.
As the current models tie automation testing in the test phase, bugs introduced in previously working functionality get tracked in Test phase. This leads to a cycle of identification of bugs, reporting, fixing and re-verification of it.
Solution to the bridge the Gap:
In this article Regressed Automation Suite is set loose from Test phase and is available in Development phase from second sprint. As in every sprint new functionality is added, similarly regressed automated suite also has new test cases added. The new automation test cases added get stabilized in that sprint. And as the regressed automation suite is stable it can be easily run within the development phase of the next sprint as and when required. This helps development teams to identify defects introduced in previous working functionalities. It stops defect seepage in working functionalities from Development phase to Test Phase. This helps the project teams save effort spent in issue being discovered in later stages of iteration.
The diagram depicts of how regressed automation suite is tied loose from testing phase and moved to development phase in an agile software development model.