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Release-Based Scrumming

February 1, 2016

More and more organisations choose an Agile approach and start developing software with self-managing Scrum teams. The teams work in iterations (Sprints) on the (further) development of software products. This method of development is often used for building (web) applications. However, the Agile approach is also increasingly used for configuration and development within standard applications such as SAP. In sprints of two to four weeks, new and modified functionalities are delivered to the business.

Release and Scrum

Often changes in applications are not implemented one by one but as a release. A release is then a collection of new/adapted functionalities and bug fixes. This way of working has the advantage that the number of implementation moments can be limited. This leads to a more stable environment with fewer disruptions. Another advantage is that the costs of testing can be reduced because the test planning and effort is focused on an entire release.

Working in a release-based manner fits in well with an Agile/Scrum approach. The number of releases per year can be determined on the basis of the duration of the sprints (usually two to four weeks). After each sprint, a release is delivered. Wishes and solutions for bugs are included in the product backlog by the product owner. A selection of these is placed in the sprint backlog, which then actually represents the scope of the release. This so-called 'release-oriented scrumming' is an excellent way to carry out controlled changes in (standard) applications and to implement them in the business. Testing and accepting the changes in a release does require a somewhat different approach than most organisations are used to.


When implementing changes, there is always a risk of unforeseen problems in neighbouring system components. To prevent these so-called regression problems, a proper impact analysis must be performed before implementing a release. The goal of this analysis is to estimate which system components will be affected by the implementation of the changes. Subsequently, it must be tested whether these system parts continue to function properly after the implementation of the change. It saves time and increases quality when regression testing uses tests that have been performed in the past. This requires a good regression test set where the required tests can be found quickly and easily.

The business plays an important role in accepting the changes that are implemented in a release. It is also important, often in the context of compliancy, to record which tests have been carried out, what the test results are and who approved what. In order to do this, support by a suitable test management tool is indispensable. This must be an application that works very intuitively, because the business testers will not work with it on a daily basis.

Building up a regression test set

Testersuite is a very user-friendly SaaS test management tool that business testers can quickly work with independently. Testersuite contains a unique component, the Masterlist, where tests from different test cycles are stored for future (re)use. In this section, the regression test set is built and maintained. When the impact of a release is determined then the required regression test cases and test scenarios can be retrieved from the Masterlist. The test cases are associated with products (processes, systems) and/or requirements. When selecting products and/or requirements in the Masterlist, selection of the required regression test cases and test scenarios takes place automatically. In this way, the tests needed for regression testing are quickly and easily retrieved.

release-based scrum testing
Release-oriented scrum testing

After completion of a test cycle (release) the products, requirements, test cases and test scenarios can be written to the Master list. These can then be retrieved for regression testing in subsequent new test cycles .

'Release-based scrumming' is an excellent way to bundle changes and implement them in a controlled way. However, an important condition is that regression testing and acceptance testing are well organized. A test management tool that properly supports these test types makes this possible. Testersuite is the only test management tool that makes maintaining and reusing a regression test set very accessible using the Masterlist.

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