Centercode for Agile Betas

The agile development model implements beta testing in an "always on" or "evergreen" methodology in order to address consistent changes through regular sprints.

Agile Beta Tests are tests of software products developed and maintained under the Agile development model. Due to the Agile model's credo "release early, release often," actual Agile beta test phases are generally short but very consistent and predictable.

Agile betas often occur in an "evergreen" model, with a persistent pool of candidates receiving new early builds with each sprint as they are released, providing feedback for a very short period prior to the final release version being made available to a wider audience.

Agile Beta Test Traits

  • Quick Phases - The single most defining feature of Agile beta tests is the short period of time available for the beta testing phase.
  • Evergreen Betas - Many Agile betas run literally year-round, with participants always using the product one build ahead of the general customer base.
  • Consistent Participant Pool - Due to the short beta period, Agile beta programs often use one group of participants for all projects. This substantially cuts the participant learning curve for new beta releases.
  • Engineer Participation - Given the long-term relationship between agile developers and their participants, developers in Agile beta programs are often more hands-on in dealing and communicating directly with participants throughout the beta phase.

Agile Beta Test Challenges

  • Short Testing Phase - The extremely brief beta phases common to Agile betas make it very difficult to recruit new candidates, and very difficult to collect, evaluate, and distribute feedback from the existing participant pool (with enough time left over to act on the feedback).
  • Limited Participant Pools - Given the short time period available for beta, testing on a wide enough audience to cover many products' full target markets is nearly impossible.
  • Fresh Perspective - While most beta tests offer fresh customer perspective, Agile betas often fall into the trap of relying on veteran users who've been involved in the product's previous betas for months, or even years. While these users are extremely valuable, they lack the perspective of a new user and thus may fail to catch issues that would cause problems for new users.
Free Resource - Kit - Software Beta Test Planning Kit

Software Beta Test Planning Kit

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How Centercode Software Can Help Learn More »

  • Private Beta Portal - The Centercode platform provides you and your customers with a centralized base of operations for your beta projects. From here you can coordinate all communication and feedback with ease, either matching new projects to sprints, or maintaining evergreen projects with growing feedback pools.
  • System Integrations - While Centercode offers powerful defect tracking features of its own, chances are you're already comfortable with the system of your choice (Bugzilla, Jira, etc.). Centercode can easily integrate with your systems, to ensure bugs found in your beta are flowing through your preferred channels.
  • Tasks (and Task Templates) - Centercode's Tasks feature allows you to direct your participants toward specific bug fixes and new features in each build. Doing so stresses those aspects as part of your beta, ensuring your fixes are release-ready. In addition, Task Templates allow you to quickly deploy regression tasks to ensure new features and fixes don't break other features and functionality.
  • Feedback Management - The Centercode platform's Feedback Management system helps you manage feedback quickly and efficiently during short test phases, including identifying and handling duplicate feedback. Feedback may also be automatically handled based on your criteria and workflows, including transferring it to existing defect tracking systems.

How Centercode Managed Betas Can Help Learn More »

  • Fresh Eyes - Our community is loaded with both tech-savvy and novice users.
  • Offset Your Resources - If your timeline is extremely tight, or your programmers are the ones expected to run the beta, outsourcing your project to our expert team of beta test managers can produce amazing results.

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