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Imagine developing an application with top-notch features and the latest trends included. Naturally, you would consider executing tests since we’ve discussed their importance quite a lot. And suddenly, on the pre-launch testing, you spot critical bugs that significantly influence your app’s performance and could have been solved much earlier.

And that’s the part when we present to you what would have saved you from such an unfortunate situation – regression testing! Even in a rapid agile environment, developers can focus on improving and changing features while maintaining the product’s functionality. This article will answer the following questions: What is regression testing in agile? Why is it important? What are the possible challenges and best practices to know? And now, let the games begin!

What is the Main Concept of Regression Testing and Agile?

While applying new features to the product during different life lifecycles, you really wish they would supplement previous achievements rather than mess it up. The fundamental conception of regression testing is to test new additions and retest the application’s existing elements. It ensures that irrespective of the scalability of changes, they do not influence the overall functionality or produce any new bugs, challenges, or conflicts.

Regression testing allows the testing team to analyze the situation within the application and its system performance after implementing new code without using any programming language. Whenever there are any updates or modifications to the product, we use regression testing to ensure we are safe from wasting the progress.

Regression Testing in Agile Environment: Challenges and Strategies

We’ve already heard of agile software development – an iterative approach that focuses on fast value delivery to the customers. Agile teams work in so-called sprints, usually two or four weeks. Many changes are made during that period, so the team must estimate all the modifications made correctly. Hence, applying regression testing in an agile environment seems logical and rational. The testing team can evaluate the new functionality, code changes and check if the application’s performance retains a certain level. The test should be applied from the first phases and be updated alongside each sprint. Based on that, we can assume that the regression testing approach in agile plays one of the most significant roles within the development process.

Why is Regression Testing Important in Agile Development?

The importance of regression testing in agile development is hard to overestimate. The testing team is focused on implementing new features in certain areas, so it’s hard to predict all the possible risks in the entire application. That’s when we execute regression testing to see the system’s parts affected by the changes. Due to the aim of performing test cases for each product feature, regression testing ensures more test coverage, which leads to the overall improvement of the application. As a true lifeline, this testing helps spot the bugs and fix them before moving on to the next step of the development process. Regression testing in agile is a key to successful product development with high-quality software that runs smoothly without glitches.

With such reasoning, it’s no surprise that the thought of making regression testing an essential development lifecycle process would appear. But what are the other pros of regression testing in agile methodology?

Regression Testing in Agile Environment: Challenges and Strategies

The benefits of regression testing in agile

  • Emphasis on functionality. It’s evident that regression testing focuses on estimating the establishment of new features with the existing ones. While working on one part and implementing what was planned for the specific sprint, it’s barely possible to guess or predict the response of the entire system. To solve the problem, they use regression testing to test the software’s functionality before and after the changes are made. Thus, regression testing in the agile process allows the dev team to deliver solutions of the best quality without fear of missing elements that may cause bright damage to the application’s functionality.
  • Instant feedback. The sooner we spot the problem, the fewer headaches we get later. And regression testing in agile process works just like a pill. The process can solve problems on the spot, analyze their nature, and prevent them from appearing in the future. We must agree that all of that sounds much more appealing and accessible than returning to the problematic area. Developers can modify their projects early by fixing the code or finding a solution immediately. If your team scripts and runs regression tests on an automatic build environment and integrates within the sprints, then you’ll get entirely automated regression tests (and minus one problem to worry about).
  • High ROI. The considerable benefit of regression testing is its cost-effectiveness. For instance, thanks to the automatization of regression tests, we can reduce the size of the dev team. And that leads to minimizing production costs and shifting focus to more vital tasks. Thanks to the accessibility of all the regression testing cycle’s tests, there’s an ability to return to the already performed test from the previous sprint cycles. We can reuse them, analyze and be aware of possible future defects. As a cherry on top – everything from above is not only cost-effective but also time-effective! And that’s why such a regression testing strategy in agile produces a high return on investment.
  • High-quality. Not to be arrogant, but with that much work done, it’s impossible to launch poorly-made software. When properly implemented, regression testing in agile development indicates systems’ stability, functionality with various features, lack of side effects and bugs. It also shows products’ readiness for the next steps within the development. Also, it’s a great way to motivate the team and assure them that the software they deliver is free from bugs and won’t suffer an unfortunate fate.

Regression Testing in an Agile Development Methodology: Challenges to Expect

Rigid timeline

One of the most significant problems with regression testing in agile is the limited allocated time. Unfortunately, you cannot predict how many additional tests your project will require to execute to get your plan results. Projects that are a bit larger in scale might struggle to fit in the testing frames in case of demanding additional regression test performance time.

Iterative process

Contrary to the previous point, regression testing in the agile process might be time-consuming. Some of the added or updated features might be foreign to the existing system. Thus, it requires the retest of each segment to check the presence of any conflicts or other problems. To finish the regression cycle, you must go through quite a journey, so it’s better to have some patience in your pockets.

Excessive changes

An unexpected change of plans or demand to make amendments can negatively affect the process of agile regression testing. Well, it won’t mess up the iteration cycle, but it will risk the whole automation strategy. And as a result – the changes may cause a delay in product delivery.

Miscommunication

Every team’s nightmare is a lack of communication among its members and other relevant people. To get the same vision and understanding, you need to sync with each other so everyone will be on the same page. A productive work environment requires everyone to keep abreast of the current status of the development process: What is new? Which feature didn’t work out? And what features fit just like required?

Expansion of test suites

With each sprint, the number of regression tests will only grow. And that’s the part when it’s extremely easy to mess up the process since managing such a cumbersome scale of tests isn’t the most straightforward task.

Best Practices and Tips of Regression Testing in Agile

Choose automation (but don’t relax)

An agile-friendly automated regression testing is a great way to simplify testers’ lives and improve the testing process. It means that QA engineers can focus on the development procedure rather than pay extra attention to running tests. We won’t downplay the value of automation testing, but don’t assume that you must forget about manual regression testing in agile. The first steps of development, when testers get to know the software, adapt to workflow, etc., must be done manually. The perfect outcome is introducing automated regression tests after applying significant software changes and still having 10-30% of manual check-in.

Regression Testing in Agile Environment: Challenges and Strategies

Provide detailed bug report

Tools that come in handy for tracking errors are a must. Even if you have already tested the feature enough times to learn it by heart, don’t neglect to analyze the report about the completed regression test. The truth is that the error can occur in the most unexpected parts of software, such as code lines that were invincible in the previous sprints. Those tools help identify the issue by providing various metrics related to regression testing failures.

Decide on your approach

There are two ways of managing agile methodology in testing: the team has to arrange tests via a risk-based or collaborative approach:

  • The first requires choosing test cases most affected by changes and prioritizing their run based on the risk level. High-risk test cases are critical since they endanger the application’s overall functionality and might be visible to end-users. Medium-risk tests cover the situations related to negative test results or boundary value tests. Low-risk test cases are the least affected by modifications, thus can be included in the final regression test.
  • The latter approach is collaborative – the testing team covers tests on the sprint level by cooperating. Everyone from the group is welcome to give their opinion and suggestions regarding what features might significantly affect the software. This way, testers can prioritize tests without changing the efficiency of QA scripts.

Consider Inoxoft Your Trusted Partner

Inoxoft is an experienced software testing company that specializes in automation testing services for web and mobile applications. Our QA engineers master working with automation tools and frameworks, designing automated tests and coding with the most profound skills. The team will also manage QA execution according to the planning, report on defects, and problems and find solutions in the most efficient ways possible.

We ensure our clients that we are entirely committed to their success, so they’ll achieve only the best quality products for their projects. Our company offers eliminated risks, accelerated development, cost-effective prices and the most efficient and accurate results on the market.

Feel free to fill out a contact form below, if you are interested in our quality automation company. Learn more about QA automation testing services we suggest, check the reviews from people who worked with us, and convenience yourself to choose Inoxoft as your loyal partner!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of regression testing in agile?

  • Emphasis on functionality. Regression testing in the agile process allows the dev team to deliver solutions of the best quality without fear of missing elements that may cause bright damage to the application's functionality. 
  • Instant feedback. Solving problems, analyzing their nature, and preventing them from appearing in the future sounds much more appealing and more accessible than coming back to the problematic area. Thanks to the regression testing, developers can modify their projects early by fixing the code or finding a solution immediately. 
  • High return on investment. The size of the dev team can be minimized and  already performed tests from the previous sprint cycles can be reused.
  • High-quality of the final product. When properly implemented, regression testing in agile development indicates systems' stability, functionality with various features, and lack of side effects, bugs, and products' readiness for the next steps within the development.

At what stage does regression testing occur in agile development?

Regressive testing should be applied from the first phase after any tiny change in the code lines. Also, the test should be updated alongside each sprint.

Does regression testing in agile affect product functionality?

Yes! In a positive way, of course. Due to the aim of performing test cases for each product feature, regression testing ensures more test coverage, which leads to the overall improvement of the application. As a true lifeline, this testing helps spot the bugs and fix them before moving on to the next step of the development process. Regression testing in agile is a key to successful product development with high-quality software that runs smoothly without glitches.