Why Agile test planning makes software quality superior than in Waterfall

When comparing the frequency and granularity of test planning and execution in products developed under Waterfall and Agile methods, we observed that in Agile: we have more tests, in the story level and we have a progressive increment of test coverage all over the product and higher frequency running those tests.

Let’s try to understand the reason behind this fact. In Agile:

  • Test scenarios are more feature oriented and not project oriented;
  • Test plan is done in a Story level and should be part of the definition of Ready and test execution part of the definition of done;

Only considering those 2 facts, we note the respect for 2 mandatory test principles:

  • Early testing – testing should start as early as possible in the software development life cycle, so any defect can be captured in requirements and design phase.
  • Absence of error is a fallacy – Software is defect free but doesn’t meet the needs and requirements of the client. In Agile This doesn’t apply: tests are plan to cover features and features are oriented to provide value for the customer.

In the image below you can see my illustration of the famous V model where in each phase of the Software Development Life-cycle we can start to plan different test type.

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