I saw two tweets today (interestingly within 30 minutes), which said documenting in Software Development is bad. As a tester, that alarmed me. It shows the level to which Agile has been misunderstood. One of the tweets was from a person who claims themselves to be an Agile Leader and Agile Coach. And the second tweet is from a developer, whose blog you can find here.
Some specifics if you don’t want to go through the blog – it claims that Test Plans are unnecessary burden, non-Agile, not necessary for small projects (needed only for military-grade projects, etc., etc.)
- Quality is not specific to the size of the product you develop/test. I reviewed a book written by Rich Rogers about Quality, in which an incident related to a bad quality user interface used in a commuter bus leads to heartburn and inconvenience for everyone (if I remember correct). So, big or small, your product needs documentation (architecture, test plans, etc.) to ensure everyone is in sync. on what’s happening with the product.
- The worrying trend that I see with Agile development teams is that since Agile says ‘Working Software over Comprehensive documentation’, people think that documentation itself can be ignored. How is everyone supposed to understand the product whose architecture is not known? Refer to this blog here related to this aspect.
- Test plans being an unnecessary burden is also a non-starter. It is important to document things are very essential (lab setup diagrams, operating systems to test, devices to test, etc.). The test plan need not be a word document which needs source control (for requirements like ISO certification), but it can be part of your CI/CD pipeline in a suitable format, so that if the requirements changes, the plan also changes, so that maintainability becomes nil.
It has become a fashion for the Agile ‘gurus’ to demean documentation in favour of ‘fast development’. Well, here’s the deal: if you don’t know where you are going, you could go anywhere. And THAT seems to be the state of many Agile projects just pushing for commit-over-commit-over-commit without a sense of direction/plan. If you need a sense of direction, the Agile leadership needs to take the team with them, and for that documentation and plans are a must, however minuscule they may be.
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