Manual Testing in an Agile world - HP Sprinter

Agile methodologies promise faster development and time to market of Applications; on the other hand, testing is expected to happen continuously as part of each iteration or cycle and not only at the end of the full development. Whether your organization is predominantly Agile or is working in a hybrid model of both Agile and traditional lifecycle methods, in today’s world, QA teams are being asked to increase productivity, efficiency and shrink testing time. 

 

These market trends can often place QA teams under tight time constrains. In order to meet the growing need for testing in real time, QA teams should consider adding to their practices testing methods that are more business oriented, that will focus on the business goals of the application and encourage creativity as opposed to scripted testing that is focused on tactical and mechanical execution only.

 

In order to be more engaged with the business goals of the application under test, testers should increase their collaboration with other stakeholders in the organization, like developers, business analysts and project managers, to be able to understand the use cases and test whether the application delivers these goals. This approach is referred to as Agile Testing.

 

Agile Testing, or ‘contexts driven testing’ as it is sometimes referred to, is a variation on the same idea that Exploratory Testing represents: "Testing where the tester actively controls the design of the tests as those tests are performed and uses information gained while testing to design new and better tests." (James Bach). This approach to manual testing motivates the testers, encourages team collaboration and dramatically cuts testing time.  

 

The biggest problem with this great approach is the lack of documentation that leads to difficulties in reproducing defects and understanding the steps that led the tester to find these defects. Creativity, exploration, efficiency, all sound great, but defect remediation relies on the ability to understand the steps that the tester performed before running into the defect, which requires accurate and full documentation. 

 

Here is where our new innovative product for manual testing – HP Sprinter – fits in. HP Sprinter has great innovative capabilities: Data Injection, Smart Annotation, Smart Tabs, Mirror Testing and Smart Documentation.

 

Sprinter provides three ways of documentation: an auto recording of screenshots that were taken before finding the defect; an auto recording of a video movie of all user actions on screenshots that were taken before finding the defect; and the ability to translate real user actions to actual textual documentation. This method of generating text from tester actions is based on a patented technology that HP has developed. That's the most convenient way to add a detailed description of the steps and user actions that led the tester to find the defect. The team can benefit from this technology in different ways, for example at the end of a test run, the team can use this text in order to build a formal test from an informal test and replicate the whole test case when running exploratory testing. In addition, the developer can get the most detailed information in a very clear and organized way.

 

Thanks to the market trends that I've outlined, we can clearly see that manual testing has been transformed and that HP Sprinter revolutionizes the way manual tests will be conducted in organizations. Moreover, HP Sprinter enables organizations better utilization of these new market trends and dramatically increases their efficiency.

 

Comments
A4Avner | ‎01-20-2011 02:29 PM

The Sprinter is a fine addition to an already useful set of tools.  It certainly has the potential of expanding & extending a project's testing options.  The problem, as I see it, has nothing to do with Agile, Scrum, RAD or BAD, but rather with the lack of understanding by legacy mangers about the investment necessary to implement such innovations.  To be more specific, other than the cost of the tools themselves, too often are the tools purchased & training is assumed to be unnecessary, changes in existing processes are not thoroughly planned out.  These aspects & others can often be the death sentence to a testing effort before the ink is dry on the check.  If vendors would stop selling tools like the Sprinter or methodologies like Agile as intuitive - out of the box solutions & instead help the stakeholders truly evaluate what the short & long term ramifications of implementing such technology will be to existing processes & resources, we the testers would be able to site untold stories of success & satisfaction.  Until then it's a crapshoot at best!

RonitSoen | ‎01-20-2011 03:36 PM

Hi Avner, thanks for your comment. Being able to justify a purchase decision is always challenging. You need to be able to convince your management that the team and the overall organization will benefit the product and gain ROI over a reasonable period of time. Depends on the status in your organization and whether your QA team is able to catch up with the demand, in a place where testing really should be accelerated, it will be easier to justify an investment in order to be able to use Sprinter. As I mentioned in the webinar, we built an ROI calculator that may help you to calculate the ROI. In general and for an average Software company, we can tell that Sprinter cuts manual testing time in about 40-50%. To present your management the benefits of Sprinter, you can look for product videos on YouTube and a set of collateral here: www.hp.com/go/Sprinter.

 

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