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Common challenges experienced by manual testers in agile teams

Common challenges experienced by manual testers in agile teams
  • The sprint comes to an end, but testing is not yet finished:
  1. Coding is not complete, item is not ready for testing but the sprint cycle comes to an end.
  2. Some times, Test Engineer can not understand the userstory, Tester can not get the sufficient information to test the item
  3. For some user stories, Business need to provide testing data, but he/she can not get the testing data on time to finish the testing before sprint ends.
  • Common Causes:
  1. Team unavailability due to urgent/unavoidable work.
  2. Team is unavailable due to sick.
  • Test execution started too late in the sprint:

-Since, The Item to be tested is not ready as per it’s schedule.

  • Watch out for the “mini-waterfall” sprint
  • Stories are too large: Tester/Developer do not have enough time to understand the userstory.
  • People incorrectly assume testers only want to test a new feature once it’s “finished”
  • Test execution takes too long:
  1. Since Tester is finding more bugs.
  2.  Tester is new to this domain.
  3. Tester doesn’t have enough time to understand the functionality.
  • Poor application testability:
  • Difficult to setup system state / pre-conditions
  • Lack of reporting  / logging for diagnostic purposes
  • Lack of tools / utilities for manual testing: If organization is not providing any tools to Create, Execute and to log bugs
  • Log parsers: For some products log file, XML file, CSV files are very important, to find the integration issues
  • Data generators: Lack of tools to generate random data to test the application
  • Semi-automated oracles
  • Slow / unreliable process for creating test builds
  • Testers told to get on with it themselves
  • Minimal tool / automation support: Need to perform lot of regression testing, but there are any tools to perform. so performing testing manually takes long time.
  • Builds are unusable when they arrive:

1. Little / no unit tests: Dev team is not performing any unit testing and delivering item for testing, Tester will find more issues, some times

  • Bug count allowed to escalate:
  1. Unfixed bugs camouflage other bugs
  2. Unfixed bugs lead to duplicate effort
  3. Unfixed bugs distract the entire team
  • Too much time spent on test preparation: Testers have lack of knowledge on domain, is not enough to understand the userstory specifications.
  1. Heavy Documentation
  2. Analysis paralysis
  3. Trying to prepare too far ahead
  • Team velocity based on coding only:
  1. Testing is ignored / forgotten
  2. Testers given poor advice
  • Testing is finished during the sprint, but confidence is low

Common Causes:  1. Testing is quick, but ad-hoc

2. Too little planning

  • Scope of the release is unclear
  • Change is unstructured and uncontrolled
  • Features added without tester’s knowledge
  • Testing performed by people with little testing experience
  • Only the obvious bugs discovered
  • Testing is seen as a background task
  • Performed on a best endeavors basis