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When working with an agile development team to develop a product, many have concerns relating to testing.

Does agile mean that all tests should be automated? That we shouldn’t have manual testing? That we can’t prepare, document, and plan test executions?

The truth is that an agile development should not detract from the quality of the product and the ability to demonstrate quality.

I have worked on many agile product developments where manual testing has been an essential element. Yes, we have automated tests, but choose to augment those with manual tests.

These are planned tests where there is value in having a person execute particular workflows and visually inspecting the application throughout these processes.

With our agile model, we balance test definition and planning based on the work in the current sprint alongside test work that is tracking slightly ahead of the main development. This allows tests to be defined and planned for execution in advance of the development work.

This tracks slightly ahead of development, yes is not too future facing or speculative in nature. This actually serves to speed up development by having a detailed analysis performed before work is estimated or implementation starts.

So, in summary, testing is impacted by an agile development model. The batch sizes and timing of test work is affected. By recognising the agile test requirements, and not restricting ourselves to purely considering the current sprint, we can actually have a very efficient test process that can support a quality implementation in many ways.

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