Traditional Testing vs. Agile Testing: Which is Best for Your Business?

Traditional testing and agile testing are two approaches to software testing. The traditional approach has been around since the beginning of software development. On the other hand, the agile approach emerged to cater to the rapidly evolving role of testers in the software development process. Which one you should choose among these two is a hot discussion.

While the decision may appear simple on the surface level, choosing the right software testing approach is way more challenging than it seems. Chances are, the agile approach may be better but may not work for you and vice versa. Hence, it is essential to understand both software testing techniques before jumping to a conclusion. Let’s begin:

What is Traditional Testing? 

Traditional testing is a top-down approach to software testing. In this approach, we perform testing in a linear form where the completion of each phase leads to another. 

Traditional Testing Features

  1. Managed by the Project Manager throughout the process.
  2. There are predefined steps to execute the strategy.
  3. The result is visible only after all the software issues have been fixed.
  4. The client involvement only happens initially and after completing the testing process.
  5. Implementing changes in the software is difficult as there is a predefined process.  

Traditional Testing Advantages

  1. It helps you identify maximum issues with your software.
  2. Ensures that we release a quality product in the market.

Traditional Testing Disadvantages

  1. Long-running, tiring process. 
  2. Delivery takes time as we can implement changes only at the end.
  3. You must clearly define all the requirements at the beginning. Also, they’re unlikely to change throughout the project.
  4. There are a lot of chances of miscommunication as there is little interaction between testers. 
  5. Since there is a heavy emphasis on documentation, the traditional approach is often tricky and expensive to maintain.
  6. There are few chances of implementing reusable components throughout the process.

Traditional testing is best suited for projects with precise requirements.

What is Agile Testing?

Agile testing is an iterative and incremental process covering all layers and types of software testing. In the approach, the entire team works together to uncover issues while ensuring that it is at the peak of the performance. 

Here are four agile testing quadrants:

Quadrant 1: Unit Level, Technology Facing

Quadrant 2: System Level, Business Facing

Quadrant 3: System or User Acceptance Level, Business Facing

Quadrant 4: System or Operational Acceptance Level, Technology Facing

Agile Testing Quadrants

Agile Testing Features 

  1. Flexible for changes throughout the development process.
  2. It requires minimum documentation.
  3. You can use automated tools to improve the software testing process.
  4. Adaptable to changes in the requirements.
  5. It is less time-consuming as it requires minimum documentation. 
  6. It thrives on collaboration & communication within the team. 

Advantages Of Agile Testing

  1. You can save a lot of time, resources, and effort as you don’t have to wait till the end of the project to incorporate changes.
  2. With agile testing, you can deliver products faster while ensuring maximum quality.
  3. Agile testing promotes face-to-face interactions and feature-driven development.
  4. You can quickly gather and implement feedback from your customers in agile testing.  

Disadvantages Of Agile Testing

  • Since limited documentation is involved, it is often difficult to specify and communicate individual testing components of large projects.
  • The lack of planning and documentation may lead to significant delays.

Difference between agile & traditional testing

Why Do People Prefer Agile Over the Traditional Approach?

Here are a few reasons why we widely prefer agile testing over traditional testing:

  • We regularly conduct tests to ensure the product continuously improves in agile testing. Also, since all the teams are involved, there is greater transparency in the software testing process.
  • The incremental and iterative models used in agile minimizes the time taken during tests and helps in releasing products faster into the market.
  • The agile testing approach incorporates feedback from the beginning, thus leading to products that users desire.
  • Agile testing also increases accountability and encourages collaboration within the team.
  • With Agile testing, you can quickly detect and fix issues and ensure you release high-quality software into the market.

A Few Challenges You Might Face While Shifting from Traditional to Agile Testing Approach

  • Building an automation strategy from scratch.
  • Deciding on a plan of action if anything goes wrong.
  • Deciding on what success means to you and how to measure it effectively.
  • Choosing the technology stack for smoothly transitioning from traditional to an agile approach.

A Few Tips that can Help

  • Identify the reasons that made you transition from traditional to agile testing.
  • Make sure all stakeholders, including the user, are clear about the reasons that led to the transition
  • Identify the size of each project- whether it is small or big
  • Maintain a good understanding of the new testing approach within your entire team.

In a Nutshell

When choosing the right software testing approach, there is no one-size-fits-all model. Every organization is different, so is the testing approach it needs. 

Still, many organizations have found the agile approach more reliable because of its flexibility and reliability for the future. They believe that by adopting the modern testing approach, they can save a significant amount of time and resources in the future. 

To successfully implement agile testing, you must understand that you can’t do it unless you have QA experts who have worked with digital and legacy systems. So, we would recommend you get in touch with someone with enough experience in QA & testing services. If you need any help, please let me know in the comments.

James Wilson

James Wilson is a seasoned Content Writer at Net Solutions, New York, for ten years with an expertise in blogging, writing creative and technical copy for direct response markets, and B2B and B2C industries. Born and brought up in New York, James holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. He has worked for industries like IT, software product design and development, Lifestyle, and written some great insights on technologies like user experience design, mobile app development, eCommerce, etc. Besides his technical background, he is not very disconnected from the digital in his free time – he loves to binge-watch Netflix.

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