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Use traditional testing tools in a way that makes you agile

Posted by Matt Archer on February 28, 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 teams have the luxury of being able to chose the tools they use, but others are tied to particular tools or venders which may not necessary be their first choice due to a lack of agile credentials.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is worth remembering that just because a vender had a particular usage pattern in mind when they created their tool, doesn’t mean that you have to follow it. As an example, you could combine what the tool vender may consider different tests into a single record to reduce your test preparation and maintenance effort, whilst also placing related tests in context.

When you use a traditional tool in an agile way, it is not uncommon for people to worry about skewed metrics. In the example above, where we used to have 20 “test” records we may now only have five.

If you encounter this feedback, it can be useful to ask how the metric is being used. Are people assuming that an area with less “tests” can be tested in less time? I hope not. Or maybe that an area with more “tests” will be tested more thoroughly? An equally risky assumption. You can help your team by explaining how some of your tool’s metrics have debatable value regardless of how it is used. It will also serve as a good opportunity to discuss what information your team would like and how you can accurately provide it.


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.

Use traditional testing tools in a way that makes you agile

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