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Tailor your agile testing practices to meet your specific needs

Posted by Matt Archer on January 9, 2013

This post is part of the tips for manual testers working in an agile environment series. A series of posts inspired by the topics covered in the Techniques for Agile Manual Testers course that is currently available to take in London (via the Ministry of Testing) and in Copenhagen (via PrettyGoodTesting).

Some agile testing techniques appear so popular it can be difficult to keep them in perspective, alter them to meet our needs or choose to ignore them entirely. But this is what successful agile teams do on a daily basis.

It can be great fun debating the theoretical pros and cons of one approach against another, however, arguments both for and against a given approach are often invalided as soon as it is used in practice.

With this in mind, never be scared to try something new. Testers can waste days discussing whether a given approach is a good idea. This can be avoided by agreeing to perform a small trial. And by small, I mean as small as possible. Forget trying something for the whole of the next sprint, try it solely for the next story you build. At the very least it will give you a real example to discuss rather than a theory. Think of it as a mini experiment to support or refute your argument.

You may think that you don’t want to compromise and instead stick to the agile ideal, but being adaptable is at the heart of agile. What follows is an extract from the website. Many consider it to be the most important XP Rule. “Fix the process when it breaks. I don’t say if because I already know you will need to make some changes for your specific project. Follow the XP Rules to start with, but do not hesitate to change what doesn’t work.”

If you have a comment or question about this particular tip, please do not hesitate to Leave a Reply.  A complete list of tips is listed below.

Tailor your agile testing practices to meet your specific needs

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