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Working release-by-release with a scrum approach

July 8, 2024

What is scrum or agile working?

More and more organizations are adopting an agile approach and starting to develop software with self-directed scrum teams. The teams work in iterations (sprints) on the (continued) development of software products.

This method of development is widely used for building (Web) applications. However, the agile approach is also increasingly used for configuration and development within standard applications. Think of ERP and EPD systems, for example.

New and modified functionalities are delivered to the business in two- to four-week sprints.

What are the benefits of this?

Often changes in applications are made not one-by-one, but release-by-release. A release is then a collection of new/adapted features and bug fixes.

This way of working has the advantage of reducing the number of implementation moments. This leads to a more stable environment with fewer disruptions.

Another advantage is that testing costs in particular can be reduced because the test planning and effort is focused on an entire release.

Release-based working

Release-based work fits nicely with an agile/scrum approach. The number of releases per year is determined based on the length of sprints (usually two to four weeks).

A release is delivered after each sprint. Wishes and bug fixes are recorded by the product owner in the product backlog. A selection of these is placed in the sprint backlog which then actually represents the scope of the release.

This so-called "release-based scrumming" is a great way to make controlled changes to (standard) applications and implement them in the business. Testing and accepting the changes in a release does require a somewhat different approach than most organizations are used to.

Regression problems; the risks

As changes are implemented, there is always a risk that unforeseen problems may arise in adjacent system components. To avoid these so-called regression problems, a proper impact analysis must be performed before implementing a release.

The purpose of this analysis is to estimate which system components will be affected when the changes are made. It is then necessary to test whether these system components continue to function properly after making the change.

It saves time and increases quality when past tests are used in regression testing. This requires a good regression test set where the required tests can be found quickly and easily.

Recording of tests and test results

The business plays an important role in accepting the changes made in a release. Thereby, often in the context of compliancy, it is important to record which tests have been performed. But also what the test results are and who approved what.

To do this, support from an appropriate test management tool is indispensable. This should 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 includes a unique feature, the Masterlist. This stores tests from various test cycles for future (re)use.

In this section, the regression test set is built and maintained. Once the impact of a release is determined, the required regression test cases and test scenarios are retrieved from the Master List. The test cases are associated with products (processes, systems) and/or requirements.

The selection of products and/or requirements in the Master List automatically selects the required regression test cases and test scenarios. In this way, the required tests for regression testing can be found quickly and easily.

release-based scrum testing
Release-oriented scrum testing

After the test cycle

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 .

Releasing with scrum

'Release-based scrumming' is an excellent way to bundle changes and implement them in a controlled way. However, an important requirement is that regression testing and acceptance testing be properly 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 approachable using the Masterlist.

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