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Software Testing:
Why Do We Fail To Get Best Out Of Agile: Top 6 Reasons that I Experienced

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"Structured Software Testing- The Discipline of Discovering Software Errors”
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About Mr. Arunkumar Khannur


Arunkumar Khannur is an internationally reputed Software Testing Guru, India’s Noted Software Testing Authority, Subject Matter Expert, Advisor, Faculty and Author in Software Testing.

He has provided consulting services to 48 companies in 9 countries, and trained 20000+ IT professionals. He has M. Tech. (Computer Science) and M. Sc. (Physics)  to his credit.. He held various roles in Wipro, Logica, Planetasia, and QAI, He has M.Sc in Physics & M.Tech in Computer Science to his credit. 

Mr. Khannur authored 7 books including his recent “Structured Software Testing – The Discipline of Discovering Software Errorsbook from Partridge (A Penguin Company)  and “Software Testing Techniques and Applications” (2011), the Best Selling Book from Pearson Publisher. He maintains : "Khannur's Software Testing Knowledge Hub" which has benefited 12500+ Software Test Practitioners worldwide so far.

Mr. Khannur provides consulting, advisory, and training services across  India, China, Russia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Malaysia, Indonesia, Slovenia, and also, to UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization. At present, he is Chairman and CEO of ISQT Process and Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore (

Upcoming Workshops by Mr. Arunkumar Khannur
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17-18 Sep, 2014 |Bangalore
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30 Sep, 2014 |Bangalore


Agile is gaining its ground in small projects but yet to prove its value in bigger projects. When we apply agile in projects quite often we fail to get best out of it. Why? Following are the top 6 reasons as I experienced:

Lack of System Thinking and Contextualization

Agile requires solution oriented mindset in order to arrive at workable product. It depends on team members’ ability and less on processes. In order to be effective in agile, we require a high order thinking of visualization. However quite often people fail because of lack of system thinking; failure to contextualize; and inability to map actions to results.

Difficulty in Moving From “Task Oriented, Process Driven Mindset” To “Solution Oriented, Workable Product Oriented Mindset”

Same boring use of processes with no innovation but full of tasks with time and constraints forced people to focus on productivity, uniformity, and consistency without focusing on workable products. Focus on measurements, thinking on completion of work with no end in mind, lacking pride and no knowledge on value of their contributions in the final product prove to be disastrous.
This is all because of the fact that traditionally all of us are “conditioned” to “analytical and process oriented mindset”.
However agile requires design thinking; continuous adjustments to “get away from ego attached to ones ideas” to “open mindedness to others ideas” and self alignment; acceptance to take calculated risks and getting away from “safety and security” towards “risking of chance taking” and “courage to shed-off some things for possible superior”, difficulties in ensuring; possibility thinking, probability thinking, practicality thinking; and open for ideas, never be judgemental, encouraging attempt for better solution.

Complexity in Ensuring Seamless Communication Among Agile Team Members

As we become more and more experienced, we start depending on more on our scripted rules of engagement driven by our experience to solve problem and get the product. Agile requires breaking these rules of experiment and exploration for better solution. However, higher the experience more is the ‘self ego’. Overcoming “self ego” is tough. Also, people are hesitant to experiment because of traditional HR Practices and fear of appraisals hamper seamless communication. In addition “Ethnography” also acts as a major constraints. Because of this “brainstorming” may gradually end-up into “boring meetings” that are run on a “traditional problem solving approach”.

Scaling Up Agile To Large Projects Is Not Very Effective

Agile demands smaller teams. Team productivity is always high when team size is 5 to 7. Large project usually have larger teams and larger scope, hence strategic team structure and aligning to goal is very difficult; and also team complexity and project complexity will have direct implications on workable product delivery.

Confidence Level of Delivering the Best within A Given Effort Is Uncertain

Agile aims at workable product. However agile does not guarantee on-time delivery and does not guarantee effective effort-usage.

Decay In Agile Culture As Team Progresses in Project

As agile project progresses teams will fall back to traditional thinking and process oriented process-culture. Especially daily stand up meetings become routine meetings with no value. Failure to use ‘psychology’ results in in-effective results

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Happy Testing!!

Arunkumar Khannur
Chairman and CEO, 
ISQT Process and Consulting Services Pvt Ltd.,
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