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Selecting the right tools for your Agile team

You’re a test manager being asked to evaluate and select tools for your agile team. With the plethora of tools available, how do you begin to select those that are most appropriate?  Choosing the right tools is only part of the equation for success. How will you determine the best practices and processes to ensure your team operates effectively and efficiently? In fact, making decisions regarding strategy will help drive your tool choices.

This week SSQ has brought you a series of articles exploring factors and trade-offs when deciding upon agile test strategies and then selecting the tools to best implement those strategies.

In Agile strategies for test managers, consultant Michael Kelly discusses the unique set of challenges such as the time crunch that agile teams are up against. Test automation is one strategy Kelly suggests to allow for almost instant feedback following code changes. Kelly describes three models for testing: testing during a sprint, testing after a sprint and testing before a production release.  Tradeoffs are highlighted for each of these models. Kelly also discusses important considerations in configuration management, release management and defect management.
 
Having a good handle on your test strategy, the types of tests you will be running and the functions you’ll require from test tools will arm you with some of the data needed in selecting your agile tool set. Testers must be able to keep up with constant changes and have tools that will provide speed and accuracy, advises Randal Rice in Tools designed for testers working in Agile environments,  Rice, a software test consultant, author and trainer, provides a thorough look at selection criteria that can be used when making a decision on the agile toolkit for your team. Rice provides descriptions of many of the popular agile test tools used today, including both open source agile test tools as well as those that are available commercially.

Using advice provided by both Kelly and Rice, you will be well-equipped to make informed choices for both strategy and tools for your agile team.

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