Why is an awareness of the entire lifecycle essential for test managers?

Testing is without a doubt one of the most essential aspects of the SDLC (software development life cycle), and as a test manager, it is critical to be able to understand the entire lifecycle at a high level rather than focusing solely on testing. Spending some time knowing the complete lifecycle will help you get the most out of your testing efforts. ‘Why is this so important?’ is a question that arises.

Actually, a better question is why it is more relevant today than it has been in the past. I’ll try to answer that question in the following paragraphs.

The solution is straightforward. The times have changed, and software development methodologies have evolved as well.

Testing has always been done at the end of the SDLC, and the testing team is frequently kept in the dark until the last minute. This wastes time for the testing team as they try to grasp the basics of what the development team has done and connect it to the needs provided by the requirements team. It can easily devolve into a torturous procedure, causing conflict between the development and testing teams.

Testing became more important in the early stages of the SDLC as agile approaches became more prominent after the millennium. When test managers do not involve their teams at the start of the lifecycle, it can cause waste of money, time and resources.

The traditional mindset that testers and developers are on opposing teams is fast dissipating. People have learned through experience that being in various teams is an illusion; in reality, they complement each other and are a member of the same unit.

The basics of agile and non-agile Software Development Life cycle (SDLC)

Let’s compare and contrast the basic processes in the SDLC in a traditional versus agile context before diving into the responsibilities of a test manager.

The SDLC in a typical environment starts with the initiation phase, which includes activities like project kick-off, project vision formulation, statement of work creation, and contract creation. The requirements team then takes over from the management team and begins writing requirements. Several whiteboard sessions, business flow design, value stream generation, and specific requirements formulation may all be part of the requirements development phase.

Following the requirements phase, the architects begin a high-level solution design and collaborate with the development team to create a comprehensive design for them. The development team then begins working on the program in accordance with the design and requirements. At this point, the test manager may become engaged. He or she might create a test strategy, as well as high-level test cases and scenarios. The testers begin developing thorough test cases and executing the tests on the software application as the development team nears completion of their first major release.

The life cycle in an agile setting may also start with a kick-off, but there may not be a formal contract as a result. The client and the product team might be able to agree on the product vision. Leaders from each functional area should attend the kick-off meeting. Although the test manager may not have the entire testing team involved in the kick-off process, he or she would be fairly involved.

Following that, the cross-functional leadership will usually agree on a feature list from which to work. Small cross-functional teams will be formed to reduce these features down into manageable chunks for sprinting. The cross-functional team would demo and ship the software increment to the client at the conclusion of each sprint or interval. The client provides input to the team, which they then take and implement in the following sprint, which begins nearly immediately. This cycle would continue until a production release was finished and released.

Key points a test manager should know about the SDLC to stay ahead of the game
SDLC terms are often a language of communication

Nothing is more off-putting than a coworker who doesn’t comprehend the terminology employed in a process. These phrases will eventually become the language that leaders communicate with on a daily basis. It is your obligation as a test manager to become educated or qualified in the process or methodology being employed.

You can simply earn a certification these days by looking online for classes in your area, whether it’s for an agile or waterfall technique. If obtaining a certification is too time consuming for you, you might purchase a book on the methodology and educate yourself on your own.

Speak up and get involved early in key SDLC activities

It is your obligation as a test manager to become resourceful and involved in the essential project activities, regardless of the life cycle methodology used in your firm. Don’t limit oneself to only participating in testing activities.

Some significant activities to which you can contribute include:

  1. project kickoff
  2. release planning
  3. sprint planning
  4. user story grooming
  5. requirements gathering process
  6. retrospective or lessons learnt meetings.

Take the initiative to participate. You may or may not feel invited, but as you become more useful to management, they will recognize the value in your presence and ask you to important meetings.

Avoid SDLC process wars

Different people have had different experiences and have different perspectives. Some may be more suited to one process over another. Despite this, there will always be some common ground between all of the diverse viewpoints on SDLC processes.

The last thing a test manager wants to do is become involved in a non-productive process battle. You may find that there are a few people who are unwilling to be flexible, which you may find irritating, but it may not be worth getting into a heated dispute with them. If there is no other way to avoid the issue, try to find something that both parties agree on, as difficult as it may appear. In the long run, the previously described strategy will be more beneficial.

Conflicts might arise over the timing of the testing team’s involvement in the lifecycle process, for example. It may be in your best interests to become engaged as soon as possible, so strike a balance between going too far and not going far enough, and then take a stand. In the other teams, there will always be one or two persons who are more agreeable. Use them to your advantage and collaborate with them to reach a quicker accord.

Versatility and cross-functionality are your friends

If you have a team of testers with diverse talents and expertise in not only testing but also development and other subject areas, you will be in a better position to handle all aspects of the SDLC as a test manager. Testers who can create code are the most versatile, just as competent developers can devise a strong test case. Testers who are able to code may be useful in automating the testing framework with technologies like as Selenium.

Another advantage, based on past experience, is that the development team may build more confidence in the testing team as a result of their sheer inventiveness. Testers with knowledge in system testing and performance testing, in addition to testers who can code, will be useful during the stress testing and system testing phases of the product lifecycle. When working in an agile setting, testers must demonstrate cross-functionality in order to work effectively with their agile teams.

Prepare for continuous improvement cycle of DevOps

With so many organizations adopting the DevOps paradigm, tester managers must now maintain a close eye on their testing team’s performance and metrics, as well as product quality analysis data. Testing teams in agile models will be required to be a part of a team that plans, develops, tests, and deploys the product every sprint. Make sure you hold a lesson learned meeting on a regular basis to assess any flaws.

Prepare for Operational testing in Production

If there is one, include a few testers on the operations and monitoring team. If there isn’t a dedicated operations team, the agile team will most likely take on this responsibility. Ensure that a tester is involved in operational monitoring, so that a tester can check the quality of the product in production in real time. In addition to the sprint testing bugs, testers can open bugs in a bug tracker system if any issues are discovered in production.

  1. With so many projects going agile and testers getting involved early, test managers must be familiar with every part of the SDLC.
  2. In a traditional SDLC, the testing team may only be involved in a tiny portion of the process. The testing team is often involved in agile lifecycles from the beginning of the product life cycle.
  3. Prepare for continuous improvement and operational testing by familiarizing yourself with SDLC terminology, proactively getting involved in the SDLC, avoiding SDLC process wars, making your team adaptable and cross-functional, and familiarizing yourself with SDLC terms.

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Also Read: https://www.guru99.com/software-testing.html