Managing Functional Testing in an Agile Environment

Software Functional Testing


Agile development for mobile and web applications has blurred collaboration between developers and QA engineers. As project managers and developers focus on developing product features and building product backlog items/user stories during agile cycles, testers don’t get enough time to test iterations.

Sometimes, developers assume the roles of QA testers, thus compromising the focus on quality and usability. Typically, developers don’t report usability problems to customers as soon as they find them, which means QA doesn’t get feedback from customers in a timely manner.

How Functional Testing helps

In addition to other factors, such as the skill levels of team members, the quality of the project/product is determined by the quality of the software processes that produced it. And the effectiveness of software testing is determined by the quality of the testing processes that were used.

Functional testing requires a planned approach to the development process that includes test planning and test execution as well as analysis to ensure maximum test coverage, consistency and the reusability of testing efforts.

Functional testing helps test the interface between the application on one side and the rest of the system and the users on the other side. It is a means of ensuring that the project/product works as it should and does what the users expect it to do. QA engineers capture requirements and instill confidence in the developers and the users that the project/product meets the stated requirements and confirms that the user story/project/product is ready for production release.

Managing Functional Testing

  • Arrange for product feature presentations from the business team. This helps to minimize the communication gap between the market requirements and what the team actually develops. In agile development, one of the key principles is to demonstrate every iteration to ensure that the requirements are well‐understood and implemented per the specifications of the business team/product manager.
  • Prepare a traceability matrix that documents the links between the features and the requirements, between the requirements and the test cases and between the test cases and the issues.
  • Maintain traceability matrices for any requirement changes; make corresponding modifications to test cases, test plans and traceability matrices at both levels.
  • The tester should collaborate closely with the development team throughout the testing life cycle, starting with gathering the test requirements all the way to the product release.
  • Reduction in learning curve for each feature by the tester as the traceability matrices are quick and easy to go through.
  • If the tester is part of the requirement discussions, he can understand feature expectations and also provide feedback, enabling him to be engaged in the project/product from the beginning.

Benefits of Functional Testing

There are a number of benefits to automation testing. One obvious benefit is the time saved by executing tests automatically rather than manually. Additionally, test automation can lead to more exhaustive testing because with automated software testing, you can execute the same test several times with more varied test data and maybe even test different environments.

Automation testing also helps developers become more confident. There will be fewer errors as developers quickly see the consequences of code changes, thus saving the team and your organization time and money.

But the main benefit of QA Automation is that application quality is increased when more comprehensive tests are performed.

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