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Agile Testing Metrics: What Are They, Why To Use It In Software Testing

Agile Testing Metrics: What Are They, Why To Use It In Software Testing

Agile testing is a methodology that focuses on releasing high-quality software regularly. To achieve this goal, you must regularly test your software to understand what it can and cannot do. You’ll need the right testing metrics to understand the results and make decisions based on them. Here’s why testing will fit into the Agile methodology and the metrics you’ll need to test efficiently. 

Agile Principles And Testing

Those practising Agile methods should already know the principles. That includes flexibility, collaboration, and an openness to feedback. 

The Agile model has brought improvements over the old waterfall software development model. In the old model, development and testing would have been done separately. This led to delays and sometimes confusion in testing and development, and there were more efficient ways of doing so. 

With Agile, the whole process is covered by both teams working together. That allows for better communication and quicker solutions being developed. When it comes to testing, continuous testing is much easier under Agile and provides for innovative solutions to be found. 

Testing In An Agile Workflow: Best Practices

How exactly does testing work under Agile working? There are some best practices you’ll want to try to get the most from it. 

Automate testing: 

As Agile working is collaborative by nature, testing will be the responsibility of both the developers and the testers. When you are both working together, you should be able to create shorter test cycles each time you do it. 

While you can automate some of your tests, there are many instances where it will make sense. You should set up automatic testing if it works for a certain aspect of your software. That will give you quicker feedback on the software and allow you to make changes as needed. 

Of course, there will still be areas where manual testing will be the best. It’s important to separate what can be automated and what you still need to handle. 

Get clear acceptance criteria:

When testing, you’re looking to create the best experience for the end user. As such, you need clear acceptance criteria to know your goal. It’s best to talk to your business analysts about what you’re looking for. They should be able to remove any ambiguity from user stories so you have clear goals to meet. 

Remove complexity: 

When creating any feature, you’ll need to consider its complexity. It’s more than whether the end user can use it and whether it’ll be harder to test. When creating a new feature, developers and testers should work together, discussing how complex it would be to test every single variation of that feature. Complexity should be removed from that feature. 

Make software quality the team’s responsibility:

 Agile working will only give you what you need if you make testing and quality the responsibility of your whole team. Developers and testers should work to agree on strategies, test cases, and defect prioritization. When they do this, they’ll be able to test more efficiently and create a better product. 

Choosing the right metrics:

 You need to know what you’re testing for. That’s why selecting the test metrics is essential before you start. When picking metrics, your team will need to be able to agree on metrics that show which areas have improved, what needs to be changed, and whether the software has met your aims as a whole. 

Agile Testing Metrics To Use while testing:

You’re aware of the basics of Agile testing, and you’ll need to know the metrics you should use in your testing cycles. These are some of the most common metrics used, as they offer a good amount of information and overall value to the process. 

Defects in production:

 This is a metric you should measure against at all stages in production. The earlier you can pick up on a defect, the easier it will be to catch and correct it. Use this metric to look for any potential defects, and put them right. 

Defect cycle time:

 In an Agile team, you’ll be looking to reduce the time you spend fixing defects in each cycle. Your defect cycle time will be the exact amount of time you spend catching and fixing any defects in your product. With each cycle, you should see shorter defect cycle times. 

Code complexity:

 You want to avoid complex code, no matter what you’re working on. The simpler the code, the easier it is to find and nail down any issues. As such, your team wants readable code to correct issues quickly. 

Cumulative flow:

 Your cumulative flow diagram should show you the development process. On it, you should be able to see ongoing work, finished tasks, speed, and any areas that need attention. 

This allows you to check the progress of the entire development cycle. You’ll be able to see what’s ready and working and anything holding up development. 

Why Use Agile Testing Metrics?

The main benefit is that they allow you to catch issues as early as possible when used correctly. The earlier they are caught, the easier they are to manage. 

As such, you are using these metrics makes your whole testing process more goal driven. When you’re working like this, you will make the testing process quicker, so you can implement a successful product more quickly.

When using Agile metrics, it’s important to remember that no perfect metric exists. Even when you’re using valuable metrics, metrics can only tell you some things about your product. As such, you should pay attention to what your metrics are telling you without relying on them to catch everything for you. 

Alongside that, the Agile team approach should help, as everyone will pitch in to ensure that you all make the best product possible. 

Before using Agile metrics, you should know all the potential benefits and pitfalls. Knowing them all before you start will ensure that you’re prepared for any results you get. 

How to use Agile Test Metrics In  Software Testing

A wide array of metrics can be used in Agile software testing, so you’ll need to ensure that you’re picking the right ones for testing your software. Not all of them will be relevant, so it’s essential to consider what you want to be looking for. Here are the test metrics that work within Agile testing, so you can see what’s right for your team. 

Source code metrics:

Your code is the base of everything you do, so you’ll want it to be as clean and straightforward as possible. As such, you’ll likely have source code metrics to see what’s working and what isn’t. 

You’ll see these metrics are divided into several categories, depending on the amount of code, the difficulty of it, interconnection, combination, and inheritance. All of these metrics will test the quality of the code so that it can be the best possible code for the product. 

Development metrics:

These metrics are focused on the time taken to find and fix defects within the product. They’ll also check for how these defects are limited. In an Agile work environment, the metrics are specifically evaluating how long it will take for the fault to be fixed and ready for the next round of testing. 

Testing metrics: 

These metrics are focused on how efficient the testing is. They’ll also test and evaluate the software to ensure it’s as efficient as can be. 

There are two main subcategories: Test coverage and Defect removal efficiency. 

Test coverage looks at the number of finished tests, as well as the number of tests that are currently being carried out. They also define the part of the software that is being tested. 

As for the efficiency of defect removal, it will track the exact number of defects and how testers and developers have removed many. 

Project-level metrics: 

These metrics are what you’ll use to define the quality of your product. They cover many areas, such as agenda, defects, budget, productivity, etc. They’ll also evaluate resources and deliverables. 

When you have these metrics, you’ll have enough information to understand the health of your project and how it’s progressing overall. You’ll also be able to use these metrics to show whether a project is completed by comparing it to other previously estimated KPIs. 

Process metrics:

This will measure the ability of your software testing process and make improvements where needed. For example, This will measure how many defects have been identified, how many were fixed, and how much time was taken to fix them. 

Project metrics: 

These metrics measure the project itself, keeping an eye on aspects such as the schedule, budget, productivity, etc. With these metrics, you should get an overview of how the project is progressing and whether it’s going in the direction you want. 

People metrics:

These metrics measure how well your team works to get the project tested and completed. That will identify whether they’re working on a schedule, the defects coming up, and so on. This will all affect the quality of the finished product, so it’s something that you want to be tracking. 

The Importance of Agile Testing Metrics:

Using these metrics isn’t just crucial for your software and your business. With this data, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about the software you make and other projects you start working on. 

It also helps investors make decisions, as they’ll have more data from you on the projects you’re working on. When you start planning those future projects, you have plenty of data that will show you what’s worked in the past and what hasn’t, so you can start creating new software with an advantage. 

There are a lot of metrics that you can use when you’re working in an Agile environment. You’ll want to make sure you’re making the most of them, as when you do, you’ll come away with a much shorter test cycle and a better product. 


In conclusion, agile testing metrics are essential for measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the testing process in an agile environment. By tracking metrics such as test coverage, defect density, and test execution speed, organizations can gain valuable insights into the quality of their software and identify areas for improvement.

Using a tool like Testsigma can help automate the collection and analysis of these metrics, making it easier to track progress and identify issues in real time. By implementing agile testing metrics as part of their testing strategy, organizations can improve the quality of their software and deliver better products to their customers.

While you can automate some of your tests, there are many instances where it will make sense. You should set up automatic testing if it works for a certain aspect of your software. That will give you quicker feedback on the software and allow you to make changes as needed,” says Oliver Adams, a tech writer at Academicbrits and PhDKingdom.

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