Strategizing Test Automation in an Agile Project
Solid strategy planning is imperative before starting off any test automation development project. This strategy should build on top of the philosophy of an informed Agile development mindset. The team should always strive to move in an iterative, incremental approach inherently as they progress.
Of course, a Test Automation strategy should be built customized to the project based on the business requirement implementations, the team, the financial budget, the time budget, etc. Applying the Agile Project management approach on top of the Automation framework strategy leads to sure success.
Strategizing Test Automation Projects: An Agile Way of Working Perspective
Iterative, Incremental Test Automation development
The team should always be open to collaboration, be flexible, be able to self organize themselves effectively. Apart from this, the Agile approach is based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the development of the project.
An ideal automation project in the Agile world slices development tasks into Incremental development slices. These are called increments. Each increment builds on top of what has been already completed. Each module grows slowly and slightly in parts over time.
Iterative development is the process of repeating and refining a development task. This is called an iteration. The team might develop a small increment of work, which may be not refined functionality, and then iteratively refine that over time. They will then add more features until the functionality was considered acceptable as per the business requirements.
Choosing the right Test Automation tool
The team ought to choose a Test Automation tool that supports the Agile way of development naturally. For example, the TestProject, Parasoft, UFT One, etc are some of the test automation tools that can be relied upon. They also integrate with a lot of 3rd party tools that enable the Agile, DevOps principles as well.
All code will be versioned in the test automation tool. Each version of the module adds to a previously built functionality. The team sees a slow increase in feature add-ons with cyclical releases and keeps upgrading. Eventually, The outcome of the subsequent iteration is an enhanced version working increment of the product being developed. This is repeated until the product accomplishes the required functionalities as per what the Business desired as per the Automation goals.
Modularization as the secret ingredient – An example
We are well aware that any modularized project is easily assembled and maintained.it is an obvious fact. Here is an example. As mentioned in the screenshot below, we start by adding modules named First_Module, Second_Module, Third_Module. Within each of these modules, we have sections of code.
Iterative, Incremental approach to Test automation Development – An example
In simple words, considering the automation project being divided into modules, in an Incremental approach, for each of the modules, we slowly add a feature one by one into it.
For example, adding to our earlier example, in the First_Module, we add First_Part corresponding to a feature, and then later on the second_Part, and so on. There is a slow increase in feature add-ons.
And, in the iterative approach, during the 1st iteration, we may decide to build the first part of each of the modules and deliver it. However, in the 2nd iteration, along with building the second_part of each of the modules, we may choose to go to the first_part of each of the modules to improvise it, and hence produce the next version of the first_part.
Ideally, we use an automation tool that supports Version control that you can easily move between versions as and when required, along with the ability to see the history of versions. The test automation tool should reflect at all times the information on who made the change in the code, what was changed, and when it was changed. Also, it should allow you to traverse back to earlier versions earlier as and when required.
Tools that support version control eventually allow multiple developers to work in parallel on the same set of code without overwriting another developer’s code. This gives greater agility to the development process since several users can work on the same functionality at the same time since the responsibility to merge what was done by each user in a document is done by the control tool version.
There is always continuous planning and learning involved along with continuous improvements in an automation project that adopts agile-based principles. This only happens best with effective team collaboration which works towards evolving in each delivery of the development, keeping in mind early delivery in every part of the project. As a result, the agile methodology encourages flexible responses to change.
It is important to keep guiding the team to adopt the agile way of working, coach, and groom them to adopt the agile development principles. Once the team wholeheartedly accept and start moving in this direction, the project will not fall short of producing an efficient test automation product.