Do you Need Dedicated Testers on an Agile Team?

The simple answer is, yes. Agile teams still need to adhere to the basics of testing, however, their approach allows them to go about it quite differently.

There’s a lot of hype out there about popular agile infrastructures not using any testers, so let’s take a look at those situations first. The reason why some massive websites don’t use testing is because they aren’t generally producing in-depth software solutions. They ship quick solutions with bugs and errors that run through a plethora of automated tests.

The reason that they can get away with using these tactics is because they monitor for faults real-time, and they release code to beta sites a day before launch where clients are allowed to do QA testing. They also use internal engineers to validate their product, and provide channels were ex-employees report errors.

In conclusion, if a team has a solid production monitoring system, engineers willing to do QA, and care very little for quality, then it can do away with testing. But the reality is that most agile teams are not in that position, so human testing still remains an important factor of the process.

Why do we Need Testing?

There are many reasons why testing is needed in an agile team. The most important being that it allows developers to build a quality system by making sure that the final product meets customer requirements.

Good testing goes far beyond the validation of what has been produced. It makes the entire team responsible for quality, provides faster delivery of production, optimizes value, and provides fast feedback.

Better Quality

An agile team should be aware of the quality of their system. Every person involved in the project should be working towards increasing quality and reducing errors. If a group uses its efforts to build quality in the beginning, and then test throughout the project – it will result in better overall solutions.

This can be done by defining acceptance criteria for user stories at the time when a story is written, or later down the road in the form of acceptance tests. The aim of this testing is to validate the hypothesis of a team, which should eliminate any surprises in later stages.

Efficient Feedback

Quick feedback loops are crucial to the success of an agile project. It allows a team to actually be agile and change when it needs to.

Dedicated testing allows a team to get fast feedback at a time when they can actually use it. Automated testing can be useful for this, but it shouldn’t be the only approach, sometimes humans are needed to get the right feedback at the right time.

Testing Helps your Final Product

Testing is crucial to the outcome of a final product, and it has to be done right. When a test plan I designed, it needs to be suitable in multiple stages throughout a project.

Testing is not easy. It takes a lot of effort from a team to be done correctly, which is why it has to count. It shouldn’t have to start from scratch every time there is a new release as that can waste a lot of efforts. Automated tests should be written with the same care as production code.

Faster delivery into production

Dedicated testers are crucial weapons to agile projects. They can achieve the quickest possible verification, which reveals that everything is as it should be, or that things are wrong and need fixing.

Testing doesn’t have to be in-depth at every phase, but it does have to be applicable to current conditions. A team needs to be in-tune with what testing is necessary at every level of the project.

Conclusion

Dedicated testers are important, even for agile teams. At the very least, everybody in a team should understand the approach to testing, what their role is, and what they are required to do.

If a team is too small to afford a dedicated tester, then it can hire someone who can do software testing and business analysis. This will ensure that you have someone responsible for demanding quality without having to spend money on extra seats.

Dedicated testing can inform teams of the best way to continue with a project. It adds value and makes sure that efforts are being used efficiently. It can help management make hard decisions, reduce risk, and deliver a better product to the client.