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Learning How Best to Test in a Sprint

By SiliconIndia   |  
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Scrum is a framework that was formed to develop software, which is used to manage software projects and develop products/applications. A sprint is the basic unit of development in Scrum, which is restricted to a definite duration. Here is a set of tips to ensure that testing is done in a sprint:

1. Having testing knowledge in your team:

Although this may seem like an obvious requirement, it is difficult to accomplish. You need to have a collaborative culture between your developers and your testers. You could reward successful collaboration. It is important to help the product owner and the team to focus on value. Tools like Visual Studio 2010 can help the tester get on board.

The manual test tool ‘Test Manager’ with Visual Studio in the current release helps teams get more connected and shows the pain points where collaboration isn’t seamless. So, adopting Microsoft Test Manager can be a good start for agile teams to get testing aboard. But, be aware the interactions are most important as tools. The tools won’t fix bad collaboration, mismatching identities or a lack of trust.

2. Regression test sets:

The software testing that tries to uncover new bugs in an existing system, after changes have been made to it is known as regression testing. Running every test in every sprint would result in unwanted expenditure of time and effort. Knowing what tests to execute gives more time to specify and execute test cases. Thus, collecting a good regression set is necessary. There are lots of ways to get this; most of them are based on risk classifications and business value. The set must also be automated. Microsoft Test Manager has a novel capability to control the amount of regression testing that needs to be done during the sprint. Creating regression sets for developer tests and functional system tests are generally easy. Always try to balance what should run and when.

3. Test Automation:

Automating your testing effort or your test execution is necessary to get your testing done in the sprint. This reduces the time needed to execute the tests, which gives your team more time to specify new test cases. But it also brings some inflexibility in your testing. You need to maintain the test automation code and update it when functionality change, which again requires time. The decision regarding what and how to automate will depend on other decisions. The test cases must have some Return On Investment.

4. Product Backlog Item (PBI) implementation sequence:

The issue with finishing the testing in a sprint is that the software (PBI) isn’t ready to be tested till the coding is over. So your team members should work on completing each item in the sprint backlog, one after the other.

5. Risk and Business Driven Tests:

When there isn’t any business risk, there aren't any tests and it is easy to fit testing in a sprint. It would be more realistic to do a good risk analysis on your product backlog items before writing thousands of tests. Also in scrum, risk is an important attribute. Conducting full product risk analysis for every Product Backlog Item during the Release Planning meeting is not essential, but the major risks should be found.

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