TEST Magazine’s agile survey shows increased use of continuous integration

The results from the third European Software Testing Benchmark Report 2016 survey on agile are in, revealing that while agile adoption is on the rise and used in many teams/projects, many key challenges remain as hurdles to full adoption.

TEST Magazine, in partnership with its online news portal, SoftwareTestingNews, carried out the survey research and has now published the findings.

Key findings from the agile report include:

  • When asked what activities are included in agile delivery teams, testing (98%), development (90%) and project management (73%), were the most popular. It is encouraging that testing was selected by almost every respondent as a key component in their agile delivery teams.
  • Although 43% of respondents said that they use agile methods in over three‑quarters of their teams/projects, only 27% said they deploy at least daily. The majority (45%) said they deploy less than weekly.
  • Management concerns for agile testing include change of priorities during the project (30%); inability to see the full scope of the project (30%); no clear timelines (27%); and a lack of clear definition of tasks (13%).
  • Most (33%) reported that budgets for agile projects are calculated ‘bottom up’, meaning teams look at the work required and build a cost around this. A quarter (26%) said they estimate based on similar projects, and another quarter (25%) ticked that agile projects come out of the annual departmental budget. Only 16% said budgets are decided on a ‘top down’ basis, where management informs the team how much they have to spend.
  • When asked what the biggest benefit to adopting an agile approach, almost half of the respondents (49%) said it was better collaboration with development teams. A significant 24% said the faster time to market for projects was the strong point, and 16% reported key issues being resolved faster as a plus.

Continuous integration

According to the survey results, continuous integration (CI) has been in use for at least one year in the majority of organisations (56%). A quarter (24%) report being six months in, with 12% saying CI has never been adopted.

The main benefits of using continuous integration (CI) as highlighted in the survey are: faster feedback (24%); more stable builds (17%); increasing quality of the code (13%); and spending less time debugging and more time feature building (4%). The majority (42%) selected all of the above, underscoring the multiple advantages of adopting CI.

When asked about best practices to adopt in order to make continuous integration a success, automating everything from test coverage, targets and monitoring; continuous builds and daily code merges, was the main answer.

Toolset trends

Interoperability with current stack (37%) and that it is a proven stable/dependable tool (35%) were the two most important considerations when selecting a toolset as revealed by the survey. Cost was also the most significant consideration for a fifth (20%) of respondents. Team priorities (6%) and if it is cutting edge (2%) were found to be lower priorities.

Respondents also highlighted numerous challenges facing them in creating a toolset for their agile implementation, including: cost; compatibility; integration; lack of experience; learning to adopt a multi-tool approach rather than onesize fits most; and a lack of understanding of the complex tools landscape.


For more in depth insight and to see all the survey, download the report.

Written by Cecilia Rehn.


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