The Role of Business Analysts in Agile Testing

Agile Testing is a type of software testing that is built on the principles of Agile Software Development. A Business Analyst may be required to participate in Agile Testing either as an end user or a product champion, and in some cases, in collaboration with key business users.

Here are other examples of why a BA may be required on agile projects:

  • To support the product owner in describing and communicating the problem and vision of the business to the Agile team
  • To elicit requirements from stakeholders who are unavailable to participate
  • To find existing loopholes in business requirements
  • To design mock-ups of user interfaces

If you ever find yourself involved in Agile testing, here are the key characteristics to be aware of:

1) There’s less documentation - Agile testers often make use of checklists, resulting in quicker results and less administrative backlog.

2) There’s regular feedback from end users of the system, thereby reducing the cost of fixing defects down the line. The costs of discovering defects after release are significant: up to 30 times more than if they were uncovered in the design and architectural phase as seen below:

Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)  

Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)  

3) Regular meetings are scheduled to ensure constant feedback; agile teams seek and provide continuous feedback on the software.

4) The testing period is not regarded as a phase and is characterized by teams testing continuously to improve the system.

5) Testing is not restricted to testers and may include users, business analysts and developers. This ensures that there are no bottlenecks and that testing is concluded quickly.

6) Testing is different in agile environments because it doesn’t begin until after development. It drives development.

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