Designing test plans for agile processes

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Software development has significantly changed in recent years as more teams move away from waterfall approaches to ones that are more responsive. In accordance with adjustments to agile testing methodologies, questions have been raised around how testing will be affected, and if test planning is even still needed. Even though organizations are going agile, creating this document remains essential. Let's look at how agile test plans are being designed for agile test processes.

What's different about an agile plan?

In a traditional testing plan, there are a number of categories that must be defined including the scope, schedule and responsibilities within the project. While these elements must still be identified in an agile test plan, there are some other differences that are worth looking into. For example, because agile values the ability to respond to change, it's unlikely that teams will be able to follow the plan exactly. Testing Excellence noted that in order to accommodate this shift, quality assurance teams can instead create a short test strategy document that outlines processes that are applicable across sprints. This will not only reduce the time needed to make such a plan, but also help provide a template for future projects.

When it comes time to create this plan, rather than letting QA handle it alone, the entire team should have a hand in its establishment. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all bases are covered. In an agile environment, this type of collaboration is important to build in quality and consistency across various projects.

Answer critical questions

There are a number of ways that QA teams can approach creating their agile test plan. One popular method is to use a testing quadrant which breaks down tasks by need, goal and test type. While this can be effective, there are a number of questions that must be answered to add to this approach. According to Scrum template Coaching, teams should understand what the most important piece is for users, what tests should be run, where they will find the most issues, what elements will be automated and what environment to execute the test in. These elements will be critical to creating an effective test plan and ensuring that each part supports agile operations.

Make changes as required

With all of the changes that happen across builds, the test planning will not remain stagnant. According to 3Pillar Global, the agile test plan must be updated each sprint to reflect adjustments. This can include adding in a test to validate new requirements, and ensuring that the feature performs under simulated loads. In addition, risks will likely be introduced throughout a project's lifecycle, making it essential to acknowledge them. By creating a mitigation strategy, organizations can boost their test management capabilities and have a plan in place to act quickly if a threat emerges. This can be critical when building reliability and ensuring that users have a functional program.


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