The great testing modernisation – is your testing more fragile than agile?

Job 5382501 1920
23 November 2022 by Bryon Lowen - Delivery Executive

Most companies are now using some form of agile delivery. They tend to start with concentrating on automating their delivery pipeline with a focus on speed, whilst testing and quality becomes an afterthought.

Today, organisations must deliver high-quality software faster than ever before, however, testing is often scheduled at the end of sprints, which can make it difficult or even impossible to finish all testing within the sprint, especially so with regression testing. Your company’s adoption of Agile may be causing testing to become a bottleneck unless they also change their approach to quality assurance in parallel. The task of optimising your testing strategy can be overwhelming in a world that demands the continuous delivery of quality products. One poor quality release and customers will leave to join a rival, there is no loyalty in the modern marketplace.

What are the common reasons testing in Agile Delivery fails?

  • Too much reliance on manual testing, which is slow and outdated

  • Testing is seen as a hygiene activity; not included in the delivery pipeline

  • The focus is on UI testing at the end of the delivery, which means it is often too late to fix defects. No one wants to hear you have found a P1 defect

  • No clear automation approach, leaving 80%+ of the testing to be performed manually

  • Every day is overwhelming, how can I possibly run all these tests in one day?

  • Lack of collaboration with the wider team, leaving the QA team isolated and unable to influence the process. The notion that developers own development, and QA owns testing, inevitably leads to delayed releases and flawed user experiences

  • Shortage of appropriate test environments and data: ‘It takes me 1 week to secure a test environment and then the data is not even relevant to what I am testing

Agile emphasises empirical feedback, team self-management, and striving to build properly tested product increments within short iterations.

Experis Testing Services recommends utilising the following building blocks to ensure your agile testing is on the right track:

Cultural commitment to collaboration and quality: Implementing the capability of ‘continuous quality’ requires a team-wide, cultural commitment to collaboration. Quality developers and test engineers must have a mutual understanding of the baseline level of quality and efficiency they collectively intend to maintain throughout the development process and a shared understanding that testing is everyone’s responsibility.

Shift left approach: ‘Shift left’ is a buzz-phrase for testing early in the development process. For example, in BDD, test case definition inherently becomes part of requirements grooming. Testing and automation can theoretically begin as soon as behaviour scenarios are written. The key to success is to shift test creation to the left, or to the beginning of a project, rather than creating tests after development is complete.

Increase unit testing: Testing earlier means fewer bugs later. The cost and effort to fix an issue increases drastically as the delivery continues. Put simply, the sooner you can find the defects the better. Unit testing provides the most effective way in preventing defects, it is also the most effective way of increasing and maintaining quality.

Automation coverage: Using automated testing techniques is one engineering practice we can use to help us continually drive that quality with speed and efficiency; your automation functional coverage should target to exceed 80%. Unit tests should make up the majority of your coverage and UI tests should make up a small percentage of this coverage. However, the best way to achieve these increased rates is by increasing your API-level test automation. API-level integration testing provides us with an increased scope compared to our unit tests and provides increased stability and speed of execution compared to our UI tests.


No more ‘fragile’ testing! If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to adopt next-generation testing practices that enable you to test early, often, automatically, and continuously. Experis Testing Service can help you move away from dated and disparate testing tools and processes to more Agile methods that make it easier for IT staff and business stakeholders to collaborate. This will lead to faster software delivery and better business outcomes. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve your delivery capabilities.