Results of the agile approach Agile Testing

The results of adopting an agile approach were mixed at best.The key benefits that City Street Traders gained from implementing the change program were as follows:

  • Definition of a development methodology –the organization benefited greatly from the documented definition of an integrated development methodology,including analysis,design,build,test,and release activities.This development methodology comprised variants for new product releases,bespoke enhancements and emergency fixes.(City Street Traders was in a transitional stage from the size of company where everybody knew each other and what to do–less than 100 employees–to the point where there were too many people to know every body–200+employees–and processes were starting to break down because there wasn’t a common understanding across the organization.)
  • Release testing window shortened – the release testing window was shortened from three to six months down to four weeks.This was partly achieved by having smaller,more frequent releases.The initial release test cycles took longer than four weeks,until the developers rigorously applied a continuous integration approach.
  • Identification of a core product set that would be tested every release cycle–in order to enable a four-week release test,a core configuration of the product set was identified,the tests for which were then automated,giving a clear productivity and quality gain.
  • Closer working between development and testing teams –the testers formed a closer working relationship with the developers because the release testers could focus on a smaller release,which was more current,and could therefore provide more timely feedback to the development teams,to the point where the developers would come to the release testers first with new ideas to get their feedback.

The results were mixed,primarily because,given the prevailing financial climate,City Street Traders only half-heartedly adopted an agile methodology,not wanting to endanger the current business model,productivity, and revenuestreams.

A practical example of this was the developer’s keenness to produce minimal documentation but without the balancing practice of pair programming.This led to reluctance by developers to refactor(see Appendix B)someone else’s code because there was still strong individual rather than collective ownership.

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