How to do Agile Testing Inside of JIRA

  October 22, 2015

Testing plays a major part in any software development project, but strict deadlines have often pushed testing to the back burner, leaving many programs under evaluated and rife with bugs. However, agile testing methodologies prioritize testing and fast time to market throughout the project's lifecycle. From the very inception of the app, quality assurance teams are involved to develop test cases and fully understand the requirements set by stakeholders. This ensures that everyone is on track and provided with the best guidance to create the most effective products.

The benefits of agile have been well-documented, but many organizations are unsure where to start or what types of tools should be leveraged to support such an environment. JIRA is one popular asset that's used for everything from project management to defect mitigation. Because of its versatility and ease of integration, JIRA is a great solution for agile testing initiatives.

Open collaboration opportunities
Under agile practices, collaboration is key to the success of projects and help significantly lessen waste by combining skill sets to create the most effective solutions. Atlassian senior agile evangelist Dan Radigan noted that developers can often solve problems with code, but they must first understand requirements and testing implications. This will lead to better quality applications and serves as a good reason to team up with QA professionals.

"On our development teams, QA team members pair with developers in exploratory testing, a valuable practice during development for fending off more serious bugs," Radigan wrote. "Much like code review, we've seen testing knowledge transfer across the development team because of this. When developers become better testers, better code is delivered the first time."

Agile testing through JIRA makes this teamwork much easier. With the variety of features available, teams can easily organize issues, assign work and follow team activity. Enabling users to prioritize items and take action will help complete tasks much faster without having to manually deliver requests to the appropriate personnel. This means that teams will be able to spend less time managing the work and more time building quality software that will meet stakeholder expectations.

Boost capabilities with add-ons
It's rare that any one piece of software will be able to meet every single need a business may have. However, JIRA does just that by offering add-ons to ensure that each team has the tools and customization they require for their agile testing efforts. If teams had numerous applications, they would spend a lot of time navigating between them and would cause some significant dissonance when trying to collaborate across the systems. JIRA's add-ons are accessible via one platform, cutting down on confusion and wasted time. In addition, JIRA can be viewed on either desktop or mobile devices, ensuring that teams are able to use their resources anywhere with an Internet connection.

In particular, JIRA test case management tools would be beneficial for supporting agile testing in JIRA environments. AppAloud noted that the Zephyr for JIRA add-on in particular can help agile teams provision an automation and continuous integration framework inside the JIRA issue tracking system. This type of asset can help create tests, plan execution cycles, link to defects and track quality metrics. With these capabilities, teams will be better provisioned with the systems they need to succeed.

"What will appeal to the testing community is the integration of robust test management features like planning test cycles, executing tests and linking tests with defects into the critical agile workflows of JIRA," AppAloud stated. "Add on top the availability of this integration on cloud makes it much easier for test teams to manage their testing. The integrated product also helps agile teams to collaborate well with each other allowing developers to create their tests and product owners to run their acceptance tests with test management capabilities."

Provide flexibility
While we've already addressed that JIRA provides flexibility in terms of customizable add-ons, the solution also meets the need to be prepared for changes at any time. In any agile testing setup, this element is always a significant challenge, but teams can better cope with these adjustments if they have the right tools on hand. In an Atlassian blog post, Zephyr noted that constant communication will help quickly account for developments without impacting the release schedule. By having tools available in JIRA, every member of the team will be notified immediately of any modifications, enabling to create solutions on the fly.

"Clients or product owners may change their minds on features–sometimes timetables can even be accelerated," Zephyr wrote. "Developers need to be notified of any condition changes as soon as they occur to properly account for them. Thus, test management software with real-time capabilities allows team members to make or receive updates as they occur, meaning all components of the production cycle stay on track."

JIRA enabling agile operations
Software development has become significantly more complex as user needs and device requirements continue to shift. However, agile testing practices offer the means to meet these challenges head-on by promoting collaboration across teams and eliminating waste from operations. The only way to make these efforts succeed is by providing teams with tools like JIRA and Zephyr that directly enable them to work together and better handle their everyday testing and QA management needs. Agile testing through JIRA is an investment that will not only improve overall performance and app quality, it will also boost the business's bottom line and help integrate agile as an essential practice.

Learn more on how JIRA Core can power business teams' workflows and keep everyone in the know by attending the upcoming session of Atlassian Summit– Everything you need to know about JIRA core.

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