4 Steps toward Agile Development with Traceable Tests

4 Steps toward Agile Development with Traceable Tests

Traceability is the virtue of being traceable – sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? In terms of software testing, traceability refers to linking test cases to their sources. Now, you may ask why is traceability important in an agile development.

Here are the answers.

  • In agile software, the requirements of software projects change by 30% or more. So, which tests should be created? How many existing tests needs to be changed? These questions can be easily answered if there is traceability between tests and requirements.
  • A set of tests that were functioning properly are now behaving weirdly. Now you may be prompted to ask what is the functionality of the test cases created. Traceability between the test requirement and the test helps to identify the features or functions that are likely to be affected in the future.

Now that you know the importance, here are 4 steps to develop traceable tests in an agile development environment.

1. Identify the Stakeholders

The first, and most important step to create traceable tests in agile is identifying the stakeholders(or the so called amigos). Identify the different teams that will be involved in defining, designing, testing and deploying the product. Each artifacts created to define the behavior of the product, and the implementation of the behavior are the important ones based on which the tests(unit,integration,api and functional) are created.

2. Encourage Collaboration

Collaboration is the key element, to be successful in agile. When it comes to being able to track and trace changes, the teams should be encouraged to collaborate. There are many collaboration tools available which enable teams divided geographically to collaborate efficiently.

Collaborating on the changes being done to the different artifacts enables the QA team to identify the impact of changes at different levels

3.Track changes with Version Control systems

With so many changes happening to the requirements/user stories and implementation, it is important that the changes are tracked with version control systems, so that teams are informed of the changes that occurred to different artifacts(and what changes). Tracking changes helps you to enable traceability for the artifacts later.

There are multiple version control tools, both open source and commercial, available for this purpose.

4. Link artifacts to enable Traceability

With the changes for the artifacts being tracked, it will be easy for you to enable traceability, by linking the (appropriate)artifacts to your tests. This way each time a change is done to the artifact, you are ensuring the changes are tracked and traced to the related tests(unit,integration,api and functional).

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There are many open source and commercial tools available which enable traceability of tests with requirments/user stories and other artifacts.

If you need help getting started with traceable test cases in agile development, the testing experts at Gallop will help you to get it right with traceable testing metrics. Gallop assisted agile software testing metrics will help your organization to build better software and gain confidence in testing efforts.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.