Agile QA Process: What It Is, Best Practices - EffectiveSoft
Back to blog

Agile QA Testing Process: Methodology and Best Practices

Nowadays, Agile is a common practice among businesses as it offers companies many benefits such as flexibility, increased product quality, quick response to change, and risk minimization. In the iterative development scenario, quality assurance testing holds a valuable place.
11 min read
Agile QA Process

    Agile development is based on constant iterations and sprints, making quality assurance (QA) a part of each of them and not just one of the final procedures before product release. For testing not to become the bottleneck of the Agile processes, QA has to keep up with the pace. Alignment of QA and development is important for creating an efficient workflow.

    In this article, we describe the QA testing process in Agile, including Agile methodologies and the ways to make the most of QA.

    QA process in Agile

    Before going into the details of the QA process, we need to answer the following question: what is Agile testing? QA testing is a process that checks the functionality of the product and ensures that it meets user demands, as well as regulations and standards. The main goal is high-quality software.

    In a traditional software development life cycle, the Waterfall model, testing comes towards the end of the project, when the product is almost complete. In Agile, QA testing should be involved throughout the whole development process, with QA not just following the development, but supporting it. QA testing should be implemented early and continuously, with constant feedback to developers to ensure that any issues are fixed quickly.

    SDLC - Agile Model
    SDLC – Agile Model

    There are some principles of Agile testing that are fundamental for the process:

    • Testing is continuous to ensure project progress.
    • Feedback is regular and with decreased response time.
    • Testing is implemented in collaboration with other teams.
    • Code is clean and simple.
    • Testing is as important as development.

    QA life cycle in Agile consists of five main stages.

    Impact assessment

    This stage involves implementing requirements analysis and gathering information from stakeholders and users as input for the following stages. Here, test purposes and objectives for each sprint are decided upon as well.

    Agile test planning

    During Agile test planning, the team determines the testing scope and timeline, as well as methods and tools that should be used during QA. It also includes scheduling and establishing expected outcomes.

    Daily scrums

    Agile development cannot be productive without daily meetups, and the same goes for QA. The team holds meetings to share status updates, set goals for the next day, and discuss any potential issues that may interfere with delivery.

    Agility review

    An essential part of Agile QA testing is regular analysis and evaluation of the project’s progress to confirm that the development is going according to plan.

    Release readiness

    This stage of the QA testing process involves assessing the features developed in a given iteration to identify whether they are ready or need to be improved and go through the previous development stages again.

    Agile QA process flow diagram can be displayed in the following way:

    Agile testing life cycle
    Agile testing lifecycle

    Agile test plan

    Before starting the QA testing process, it’s necessary to develop a test plan, which, in Agile, is created and updated for each iteration. The test plan structure can vary depending on the requirements, but it should contain general information on all the test cases and test runs, as well as the frequency and number of tests.

    Agile test plan can include the following components:

    • QA environment. A dedicated environment for running test cases and checking system components in isolation from other environments. It consists of the software platform, operating system, devices, databases, tools, and other elements.
    • User stories. Expected behavior of the software based on user needs.
    • Testing scope. A list of all the tasks that the QA should complete within a given sprint.
    • Testing process. Methodology and types of testing that are performed during a sprint.
    • Risks and dependencies. All the potential risks and how they may influence the development processes.
    • Estimates. QA test estimation implies assessing the time and resources required for test completion. The following scenarios are possible: the best case, the most likely estimate, and the worst case.
    • Entry and Exit criteria. What must be completed before the testing begins and what must be done before it is concluded.

    The QA team should be able to refer to this plan at any time to be sure that everything goes accordingly. Creating a detailed and clearly structured test plan helps simplify and enhance QA processes.

    Agile QA roles and responsibilities

    A QA team can consist of different experts each having their own duties. Depending on the project complexity, the team structure may vary. Here are a few key QA roles and responsibilities in Agile:

    The role of a quality assurance team in Agile development
    The role of a quality assurance team in Agile development

    These are just several experts that can be engaged in the QA testing process. A QA team can also involve Quality Control Engineers, Test Consultants, Test Managers, Tech Leads, Performance QA Engineers, and other specialists.

    Agile methodology in software testing

    Selecting the methodology of Agile QA depends on the objectives that you pursue. The following are some of the frequently used ones.

    Test-driven development (TDD)

    TDD is based on the interaction between developers and QA specialists and the intertwining of three different processes: coding, testing, and refactoring. This methodology implies that unit test cases are created before the development. Then, the team creates a simple code that is just enough to pass these tests. The developers can also refactor the created code to improve it without affecting the simplicity or changing the behavior.

    Acceptance test-driven development (ATDD)

    ATDD means writing acceptance tests combining three different perspectives: business, developer, and tester, referred to as the three amigos. Like the previous methodology, ATDD involves creating tests before code development, but unlike TDD, this development relies on acceptance tests and not unit tests. The focus is on the application’s functionality from the user’s point of view, where acceptance test cases act as requirements.

    Behavior-driven development (BDD)

    This QA Agile methodology derives from TDD and ATDD, augmenting them and focusing on systems behavior. Just like ATDD, BDD depends on the three amigos and the collaboration between them. BDD tests use business-facing scenarios to describe the behavior of a story, feature, or capability. Automated BDD tests ensure that the system behavior meets the requirements every time.

    Benefits of Agile QA

    Key benefits of Agile testing
    Key benefits of Agile testing

    The QA process in Agile methodology offers benefits that can play a key role in software development.

    Early error detection

    Since testing is implemented early and continuously, it becomes easy to find and fix any issues instantly, without the need to wait for the product to be finished.

    Efficiency and quality

    Every project is divided into sprints and each sprint involves quality assurance. This approach to the QA process allows implementing a thorough testing of a product, ensuring that the final version of it is of high quality.

    Cross-functional collaboration

    Constant collaboration between team members and teams throughout the whole project ensures that everyone is in sync and knows their responsibilities, maximizing productivity.

    Client satisfaction

    Agile implies continuous interaction not only among teams, but with clients as well. QA specialists and developers meet the client’s needs and improve the product by acting on their feedback immediately.

    Time optimization

    The iterative and incremental nature of Agile testing reduces time, as QA is implemented in each sprint and does not require extensive documentation.


    Adaptability and flexibility are some of the main ideas of Agile. QA specialists can give and receive feedback quickly and act on it, promptly solving issues and responding to changes.


    Each sprint is broken down into small tasks, making the QA process easily manageable and improving productivity.

    Looking for a software testing partner?

    Talk to our QA experts

    QA best practices in Agile

    How can you make the most of the QA process in Agile? Following are some valuable tips for QA to be even more effective.


    Automate everything that can be automated, as manual testing takes too much time. This helps boost productivity, improve the workflow, and save time. Automation allows a QA team to avoid testing the same functionality over and over again. Moreover, it is possible to create tests that can be used by other teams as well.

    Minimize documentation

    One of the core values of the Agile Manifesto is working software over comprehensive documentation. The traditional development flow requires creating detailed documentation before even starting the development itself. Agile methodology puts high-quality results above all. And the QA process is no exception — create documentation only if it brings value.

    Work as a team

    Another Agile Manifesto value puts individuals and interactions over processes and tools. It’s important to communicate and collaborate with other teams to solve any problems and achieve great results. It’s also essential to integrate the QA team into the development as early as possible to get quick feedback and make all the improvements promptly.

    Pay attention to users

    The target audience should be the center of attention. The QA team needs to keep in mind who is going to use the software and the ways they are going to use it to build the QA testing process around this knowledge. User-centric thinking gives another perspective on software, allowing teams to develop a valuable product.

    Test continuously

    This is one of the main principles of software testing in Agile and is worth mentioning one more time. The success of an Agile project is based on continuous feedback and cooperation, where different teams work hand in hand. It’s important to test software after every change, update, revision, and improvement of code to determine whether developers need to make additional alterations and to ensure that everything works as intended.


    The main idea of the QA process in Agile implies early and continuous testing, attention to collaboration among teams, constant interaction with the client, and focus on flexibility. Knowing how QA works in Agile, its stages, the methodologies, and the best practices can considerably increase productivity and improve software quality.

    Our QA approach to Agile projects can be your key to top-notch solutions. Contact the EffectiveSoft team to learn more about our services.

    Contact us

    Our team would love to hear from you.

      Order an IT consultation

      Fill out the form to receive a consultation and explore how we can assist you and your business.

      What happens next?

      • An expert contacts you shortly after having analyzed your business requirements.
      • If required, we sign an NDA to ensure the highest privacy level.
      • A Pre-Sales Manager submits a comprehensive project proposal. It may include estimates, timelines, lists of CVs, etc., for a particular situation.
      • Now, we can launch the project.

      Our locations

      Say hello to our friendly team at one of these locations.

      Join our newsletter

      Stay up to date with the latest news, announcements, and articles.

        Error text