Software Development

Regression Testing in Agile: All you need to know

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Don’t worry, the bad it sounds (reee-gree-souon), the good it does for software development.

Regression testing is done to make sure that updated new code does not have side effects on the existing functionalities. It ensures that the previous code still works the same after the latest code modifications.

While, on the other hand, Agile software development refers to methodologies of software development based on the concept of iterative development, where needs and solutions grow through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

The ultimate benefit of Agile development is that it helps teams to generate value more efficiently, with better quality and predictability, and greater ability to respond to changes.

According to research from KPMG: As companies are adopting agile methodology, there has been an 85 percent rise in test automation in all business domains over the last two years.

Today software development lifecycle is more outcome-oriented while comparing with the traditional waterfall development methodology. The rate of change is so unrelenting that agility has become essential to satisfy the customer’s demand and sustain in the fast-moving market landscape.

Why is regression testing in agile essential?

There can be several dependencies between the newly added code and existing functionalities, ensuring that the new code conforms to the older code and that the unmodified code is not compromised in any way.

Regression testing becomes more critical in agile development, as there are multiple build cycles and constant improvements/changes that are made to the software.

As Regression testing complements Agile Software Development process, developers and clients have several tangible benefits such as:

· Finding a defect at an early stage of the life cycle of software development can avoid significant rework, and thus the software product can be developed on time.

· Continuous testing succors to the overall consistency and quality of the software.

· Regression testing in agile helps to uncover the essential missing requirements at the early stage of testing.

· Identifying and removing the defects earlier in the life cycle of software development provides a foresight of the entire program.

· It also enhances the overall user experience for the software developed.

Things to consider before the regression testing in agile

You will have to ensure that the experience of your users is only improved by new functionality and not heighten his/her efforts. That’s what regression testing is all about.

Hence here are a few points to take care of before building the regression test for agile team:

Creating Regression testing strategy in Agile development

The biggest challenge in performing regression testing in agile development is to maintain the appropriate balance between sprint development and regression testing. Hence to do that, here are some quick and useful techniques to perform regression testing without compromising software quality.

In agile software development, regression testing is done on two broad categories;

1) Sprint level Regression testing: The purpose of this regression test is to check the new functionalities introduced since the last update.

2) End to End Regression Testing: This method involves end to end testing of the entire product’s core functionalities.

Leveraging Smoke and Sanity test cases

Checking for smoke and sanity testing comes before regression tests, which can save time for testing teams. Sanity testing is a run-through of an application’s basic features, before further reviewing a new version, which informally ensures the old features work as expected.

You need a subset of test cases to perform smoke tests that evaluate primary, and core product workflows, such as startup and login, that can run rapidly.

Sanity test and the smoke test may be used to quickly determine if an application is too flawed to warrant further testing — such as regression testing. It is much better than running regression tests on a software product that doesn’t load or allow login, and start looking at why hundreds or thousands of regression tests fail.

Focus more in error-prone areas

Include the most common test cases which fail. Some areas of the application are so vulnerable to an error that they can fail after a slight modification of the coding. In the development process, you can keep track of those failure test cases and include them in the regression test suite.

Prioritization of Test Cases

Prioritization lets you handle the test cases based on the severity of the problem and the latest code changes. High complex bugs will be tested at the top priority and then followed by the lower severe ones. That way, you will be able to test all the bugs without losing out on bugs of high priority.

By selecting test cases based on their priority, you can reduce the regression test suite, save maintenance time, and make it possible to run the regression test faster and more often.

Bug Analysis

Some tools for regression testing integrates with other error analyzing tools to detect errors. It helps you to see rich details about what happened during a regression test — if it failed, what failed, and precisely what line of code has been affected.

Error monitoring software can also help you obtain screenshots and other fault metrics during regression testing, helping you locate and fix the problem.

Among all these strategies, you also need to ensure that the whole agile software project is on track with optimum quality and productivity. Hence you need to know the best and useful agile metrics.

Regression Testing Automation

Automation is the key to eliminate the daily mundane task and fast-track the process of regression testing.

You can create a regression test script, and that script for its proper functioning should be modified for any new update accordingly and reviewed. Your automation test script must cover any possible test case and review the results of your automation script before transferring it to the actionable item.

If you’re trying to write automated regression tests against a developing function, you could waste time writing against a volatile function. Thus you should also only conduct regression testing after you have completed a test manually, at least once before. Only then will you be able to equate manual run results with an automated test.


With the increasing demands for quality software products and the decreasing duration of release cycles, it is necessary to ensure that the products you develop meet consumer’s requirements while being reliable and efficient.

The implementation regression testing in agile will allow you to bring quality products into the market on time.



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Sarrah Pitaliya

Sarrah Pitaliya

Digital Marketing Head at Creating valuable insights that would help brands and businesses to enhance their sales growth.