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Agile: Is It a Hindrance to Testers?

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 23:16 Hrs
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Bangalore: With an increasing number of software to tests, software testing companies are moving towards agile methodologies. By doing so, the time taken to launch the product in the market is reduced and errors are detected at the early stage. Agile methodology is flexible. It allows users to request for any changes at any point of time during the development stage.

Although the global crisis of 2008 increased the average cost of software projects, software failures which are related to Agile Methodology were relatively high.

However, is agile really worth the trouble? Here is a report from a study by Voke, an analyst firm on 200 companies who had adopted agile methodology as reported in TechWeekEurope.

1.    Agile Development is harder

64% reported that Agile Development was harder than it was thought while 40% respondents did not identify any benefits from agile development.

2.    Agile allow Faster Releases, More Feedbacks, Better Planning and Documentation

Voke reported that 14% of the participants informed that agile development helps in faster releases while 13% reported that it provided more feedback. The survey also reported that 7% of the participants informed that agile development reduced developer’s task of planning and documentation.

“While many people assume that Agile is faster, better, and cheaper, actual results vary greatly. Many organizations are diving into the agile movement without a clear understanding of what it is, and what the consequences of adoption may be. They may not realize that today’s solutions are tomorrow’s problems,” said Theresa Lanowitz, lead analyst at Voke.

From the report, it can be understood that transition to agile is the problem area in this type of development. Jon Bach, in an interview with Matt Johnston, provided a solution to ease this transition known as ‘Agile-Fall’.

“Agile-fall  was something I heard at LexisNexis from an awesome PM named Lance Thomas, but in a Google talk in 2005, Elisabeth Hendrickson called it ‘Scrumfall’, so search on that term and you’ll see that it refers to having the principles associated with Agile (daily stand-ups, sprints, burndown charts, etc.), done in a waterfall-y series of development steps.  Example: Sprint 1: Gather requirements, Sprint 2: Design your tests, Sprint 3, Run those tests, Sprint 4, Fix bugs, Sprint 5 regress those bugs.  There’s no shame in that if that’s what works, and when you’re going through a transition from Waterfall to Agile, that may be the best thing as opposed to a sudden lever-pull one day where you show up and your desk is next to someone else with no walls and there’s a stack of sticky notes and markers on your chair with an email to report to your first standup in 30-minutes.”

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