Understanding the ISO/IEC 29119 Software Testing Standard in Agile Projects

Understanding the ISO/IEC 29119 Software Testing Standard in Agile Projects

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

With the introduction of the ISO/IEC 29119 Software Testing standard, many professionals in the software quality assurance field are curious about its compatibility with agile methodologies like Scrum. This guide aims to shed light on how the standard can be applied within an agile context, based on insights and practical examples.

ISO/IEC 29119 and Agile Methodologies

The ISO/IEC 29119 standard, though initially met with skepticism by some in the testing community, does incorporate elements that can be aligned with agile practices. Agile projects emphasize flexibility, continuous improvement, and collaboration, which may seem at odds with the prescriptive nature of standards. However, the standard includes provisions that support agile testing methodologies.

Case Studies and Practical Examples

One of the key aspects of the ISO/IEC 29119 standard is its inclusion of case studies that illustrate its application in both traditional and agile settings. For instance, the standard contrasts two hypothetical organizations: “Agile Corp” and “Traditional Ltd”. This comparison highlights how the standard can be adapted to different project environments.

Here is an example from an agile project:

  • Test report for: New subscription system (NSS)
  • Version: Sprint 3
  • Covers: NSS final sprint result, including previous sprints, in preparation for a major customer delivery
  • Risks: The live data risk was mitigated by creating a simulated database using historic live data cleaned by the test team and customer.
  • Test Results: Customer accepted this release based on the successful completion of 16 user stories, with one added after the last status report.
  • New and changed risks: Security of the system may become an issue in future sprints, assuming follow-up work is received from the customer.

Challenges and Considerations

While the standard provides a framework, it is essential to adapt it to the specific needs of your project. Here are some considerations:

  • Context-Driven Testing: The standard may not fully represent the diverse perspectives within the testing community. It is crucial to tailor your testing processes to the unique requirements of your project.
  • Technical Debt: Agile projects often face challenges related to technical debt. Ensure that your testing standards do not become overly rigid, as this can hinder the flexibility needed for effective agile testing.
  • Collaboration: Involve all stakeholders, including developers, testers, and customers, in the testing process to ensure alignment with business goals.

Implementing ISO/IEC 29119 in Agile Projects

To successfully implement the ISO/IEC 29119 standard in an agile project, consider the following steps:

  • Define Testing Standards: Establish clear testing standards as part of your Definition of Done for user stories and iterations.
  • Iterative Testing: Conduct testing iteratively, ensuring that each sprint includes thorough testing activities aligned with the standard.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and refine your testing processes to adapt to evolving project needs and feedback.


While the ISO/IEC 29119 standard provides a structured approach to software testing, its successful application in agile projects requires careful consideration and adaptation. By leveraging the flexibility of agile methodologies and aligning them with the standard’s guidelines, you can achieve a balanced and effective testing strategy.

For those looking to streamline their testing processes further, tools like Repeato offer a no-code test automation solution that aligns well with agile practices. Repeato enables you to create, run, and maintain automated tests for iOS and Android apps quickly and efficiently, leveraging computer vision and AI to enhance your testing capabilities. This makes it an excellent choice for teams seeking to maintain high-quality standards while embracing agile methodologies.

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