Strategies for Effective Retesting and Regression Testing in Agile Development

Strategies for Effective Retesting and Regression Testing in Agile Development

While both retesting and regression testing generally play crucial roles in software development, Agile development teams, with their continuous improvement approach, rely on these testing methods to ensure ongoing software quality and rapid delivery of reliable updates. What is the difference between these approaches, and how can they be effectively incorporated into the work of an Agile development team? This article will help you find the answers to these questions.

Retesting and regression testing: what is the difference?

Retesting and Regression Testing. What is the Difference? Before moving on to suggestions for efficient retesting and regression testing, it is important to understand the difference between these two testing approaches. While both are based on retesting, the term “retesting” is often reserved for testing the fix of a specific bug that has already been reported and resolved. Thus, the primary aim of retesting is to verify whether the fix was successful and the functionality affected by the bug works as intended.

Regression testing can also be used after bug resolution, but it is not limited to this scenario. It is also applied whenever the software undergoes any form of modification, including updates and optimizations. Furthermore, unlike retesting, regression testing usually covers a broader scope of the application, aiming to assess how different components react to the introduced code changes and ensure that modifications have not affected existing functionality. As a result, regression testing typically includes areas that were not directly affected by the bug.

Streamlining retesting and regression testing in your Agile team

To get the most out of retesting and regression testing, consider the following strategies.

1.   Regression test automation

The first necessary step any Agile development team should take to streamline retesting and regression testing is implementing a test automation tool. While retesting a single bug fix can be done manually on demand, regression testing is often resource-consuming and cannot be handled properly without automation.

Agile teams can adopt no-code test automation tools like Executive Automats, which automate test execution and report generation. A user-friendly no-code interface can significantly reduce the time required for writing test scripts, which is one of the most time-consuming aspects of regression testing. Additionally, these tools enable individuals without advanced technical knowledge to perform testing tasks, thereby reducing dependency on professional testers.

2.   Integration of regression tests into the CI/CD pipeline

Although automation tools allow flexible scheduling of test execution, a good practice is to integrate automated tests into the Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. This way, tests will run automatically with each new build, ensuring immediate feedback if the code contains any issues.

3.   Test case prioritization

Whether an Agile team relies on automated testing solutions or not, test case prioritization is critical. Achieving complete test coverage is virtually impossible, even with the most robust test automation tools, making it essential for teams to prioritize test cases.

Test case prioritization can be based on different criteria depending on the type of tested software and the current business scenario. You may consider prioritizing areas that:

  • Are most likely to fail after code changes;
  • May have the highest impact on the application in case of failure;
  • Cover critical business functionality;
  • Include features crucial for proper software operation;
  • Are part of important user scenarios;
  • Have the greatest impact on compliance with industry regulations, such as security and privacy.

4.   Building reusable test cases

The reusability of test cases significantly impacts the efficiency of the testing routine.

On the one hand, reusable tests help developers expand test coverage by reducing the time required to create new test cases from scratch for similar scenarios or functionality. The logic of reusable tests is separated from test data, making them adaptable to different scenarios and data sets without significant changes.

On the other hand, reusable test cases facilitate test maintenance due to parameterization and the separation of test logic from data, enforced by a modular design with each component focused on a particular functionality.

Optimizing test case maintenance should be a priority for software development teams, as this task can be particularly resource-consuming and costly.

5.   Taking Care of Non-Functional Testing

Regression testing often focuses on functional and unit testing, but other types of testing should also be validated after code modifications. Performance testing is one such type, as performance can be significantly affected by the changes in the application. Another essential aspect is security, as code modifications can sometimes introduce vulnerabilities to the software.

6.   Incremental testing

Regression testing is a resource-consuming procedure. However, development teams should not wait for large code changes to apply this form of testing. On the contrary, frequent testing of small increments of code, for instance, the practice of aligning the routine with sprints, will help ensure the stability of the increment and identify defects early.


The best retesting and regression testing strategy for most Agile teams is the implementation of a no-code test automation tool that supports automated report generation and a broader scope of tests, including performance testing. However, despite the streamlined testing process, teams should incorporate efficient test case prioritization and ensure test case reusability for increased test coverage and simplified test case maintenance.

These additional measures enhance the overall effectiveness of the testing process and contribute to the robustness of the Agile software development lifecycle.