Acceptance Tests are critical to Agile Success

Acceptance tests are a critical part of Agility Success.

Long term maintenance cost is one of the biggest issues that teams face today when implementing agile acceptance testing.

Tests that are just written and automated without any long term planning are guaranteed to cost you more than they are worth. But then again, a properly designed testing framework saves a lot of money, …

time and effort in the long run. It seems that the community is now going through the same learning cycle as we went through with unit tests, with people writing any crap code in unit tests at first, then learning that testing code maintenance hurts as much as it would hurt for normal code, and cleaning up their act.

Goyko Adzic, an accomplished author and trainer – writes about how the problem is much deeper in a recent article here.

Some highlights of the article are:

  • …the most successful teams he interviewed actually treats their acceptance testing framework as a product in its own right.
  • Implementing agile acceptance testing successfully, and getting the most benefits out of it, requires a significant investment……It requires
    • structure, design and planning.
    • thinking about how to maximize the return on investment in the framework, and
    • on-going cultivation and maintenance.
  • ….understanding that the acceptance testing framework is actually a product resolves a ton of things….For example, once you start thinking about the framework as a product, the question of whether to put the tests in a version control system or not goes away immediately.
  • Cleaning up “test code” no longer requires a separate explanation. Working on enhancing the structure or clarity of tests is no longer something to put on the technical debt list – it is part of a backlog for a completely separate product.

If you want to learn more about this topic, come hear Goyko speak live at an upcoming webinar on 7/15 “Effective Specifications for Agile Projects“.  He will teach us how to ensure that the product built is fit for purpose, and more.

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