05. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – No Double, Triple Testing

One way of getting testing done in a sprint is making it [testing] as efficient as possible, meanwhile this also saves money. One way of getting more efficient is not doing things double or triple. An interesting thing with testing, we do test double or triple. We test it during unit, during unit integration, during functional and during acceptance testing, this can be done better, we could save a lot of time. I’ve seen teams which also automated all these types of tests, testing the same thing... not really efficient, they didn’t manage to get it done in a sprint.

Each phase of the development process has its own test goals and depth of test coverage. The depth particularly depends upon the risks: higher probability of damage requires better test coverage. These test goals are especially aimed at discovering errors that can be found in that phase (“as early as possible”).

  • during unit testing the internal logic of the unit is tested,
  • the unit integration test needs to show that units ”understand” each other.
  • the system test needs to prove/demonstrate that the system complies with the functional requirements that have been agreed to,
  • finally, the acceptance test considers how the system fits into the environment in which it will operate.

Test goals and (depth of) test coverage per phase are made compatible with each other using a Master Test Plan (see TMap® www.tmap.net).


Every test must be able to rely on previous tests, only then will the complexity of errors be contained to errors that were introduced during the last step. Setting up a learning cycle makes it possible to correct shortcomings, if any, in the testing process chain.

Each phase of the development process and its corresponding test goal introduces a specific role with specific abilities and tasks. These roles are supported by specific ways of testing, often visualized in the Agile Test Quadrants.



How the quadrants work

Tests on the left-hand quadrants help the team know what code to write, and know when they are done writing it. Tests on the right hand side help the team learn more about the code they’re written, and this learning often translates into new user stories and tests that feed back to the left-hand quadrants. Business stakeholders define quality criteria for the top two quadrants, while the bottom two quadrants relate more to internal quality and criteria.

How To.

All these types should work together, and as already mentioned a Master Test Plan (see TMap® www.tmap.net) can help. What also can help; is getting the team together and discus it [what to test where]. This is even more important when the first tip isn’t in place (01. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint - The Team and Activities) or when there is a Customer Test Team (will be explained in tip: 11. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint - The Customer Test Team).

I like the example: where it is very hard to create unit tests for a specific piece off functionality, like login screens. To create unit test you have to use a mocking framework that mimics the user database or AD. This takes some time implement and maintain, while the functional testers will use the login screen (and test it) every time they run a test. A nice piece of functionality to have a good discussion with the tester where to test and automate this.
An other example is a really world scenario I’ve seen; this is where the developers created some great unit tests for input validation, the functional system testers created test scripts to tests the input validation and the acceptance tester tested the input validations... really a scenario where there wasn’t any communication between the testers and people didn’t trust each other (see 01. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint - The Team and Activities)

More reading: the Test Automation Pyramid http://blog.goneopen.com/2010/08/test-automation-pyramid-review/

Tool Support:

All test types are supported by VS2010.

  • The development tester:
    This tester knows the inner workings of the system and makes use of test-frameworks to automate the tests that he wants to perform. This testing role, has been supported for a while now by technical aids as unit test frameworks in Visual Studio, and is primarily done by developers. VS2010 eases the life of the development tester by intelligent support of Test Driven Development.
  • The system tester:
    The system tester tests the system for completeness, whether requirements have been met. These are not only functional requirements, but also quality requirements like performance and security (see agile test quadrant).
    System testers use a lot of scripts to automate their activities, he/she would like to perform the same tests using various infrastructures and configurations. VS2010 has had Load- and Web testing for quite a while in the Test Edition and with the introduction of VS2010 the creation of test scripts is simplified by introduction of the ‘Coded UI’ framework.
  • The acceptance tester:
    The acceptance tester, also called user tester or black box tester, truly is a tester who performs a test of the application and knows nothing about the internal workings of the application. He/she constructs test cases using functional requirements, using various testing techniques.
    Acceptance testers, who often still use Excel sheets to perform their tasks, are abundantly well supported in Visual Studio 2010. Test cases are registered in TFS and he/she has access to Microsoft Test Manager on optimal support of, usually, manual testing activities.

There isn’t any support to see if pieces of functionality are tested twice. But with unit test coverage and data diagnostic adapters for functional testing there are some capabilities in place to extract the information from the system. Maybe time to create a custom data diagnostic adapter, visualize it and compare it with the unit test coverage.

Past Tips:
01. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint - The Team and Activities
02. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Regression Test Sets
03. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Test Automation
04. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Undone Backlog Item

Next Tips:
06. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – PBI Implementation Sequence
07. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Risk and Business driven Tests
08. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Write Logical Acceptance Tests
09. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Test Tasks on the Board
10. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – Done
11. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint - The Customer Test Team
12. Getting Testing Done in the Sprint – The Test Branch

Comments (1) -

Favourite places to go 1/30/2012 9:47:59 AM

very nice post..i will keep on folllowing you.

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