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  • Writer's pictureDr. Bohdan Tanyhin

Behavior-Driven Development

One of the most needed requirements during the software development lifecycle is the ability to communicate and collaborate. Businesses, development teams, and stakeholders have a huge gap when it comes to shared understanding. However, they are responsible for putting all efforts into effective partnerships.


One of the ways to align business requirements with development outcomes is with the help of Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). Therefore, let's dive into the key components and benefits of BDD, explore how it fosters effective communication, facilitates specification, and ensures the delivery of top-notch software. Get to know how proper behavior can transform software development with Sencury.


What is Behavior-Driven Development?

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) is a type of software development with a unique focus on collaboration between developers, testers, and business stakeholders. All these parties are essential in SDLC as they ensure the delivery of high-quality software that meets business requirements. BDD is a methodology combining, augmenting, and refining different practices used in test-driven development (TDD), and acceptance testing. BDD prioritizes the behavior of the software system. Also, it uses a common language to describe and define the desired behavior.


Key Components of Behavior-Driven Development

There are three core components of BDD to draw attention to. For instance,


Collaboration – an essence in cross-functional teams. Clear communication, support, and understanding help achieve the desired outcome faster and with better quality. Technical implementation details are being backgrounded. Of course, they still matter, but the “what should be done” environment is more efficient than the one where the team brainstorms and focuses on “how it should be done”.


Scenarios - clear and concise explanations of “what should be done”. There is no need to focus on describing the system's steps and how the system is going to deal with the workflow. On the contrary, describe in an understandable language the desired outcome. Also, there is a need to mention the expected behavior without specific details of how it should be achieved.


The Given When Then Structure – a scenario framework. This framework is divided into several parts: the “given”, which is the context of the prerequisites needed for the scenario to trigger actions; the “when” which discusses the actions taken by the end-user; and the “then” part is the exact expected outcome after the end-user has performed the actions.


Sounding as easy as these concepts are, it is vital to understand how to apply them within a project. The following picture answers this particular question.


Key Components of Behavior-Driven Development There are three core components of BDD to draw attention to. For instance,   Collaboration – an essence in cross-functional teams. Clear communication, support, and understanding help achieve the desired outcome faster and with better quality. Technical implementation details are being backgrounded. Of course, they still matter, but the “what should be done” environment is more efficient than the one where the team brainstorms and focuses on “how it should be done”.   Scenarios - clear and concise explanations of “what should be done”. There is no need to focus on describing the system's steps and how the system is going to deal with the workflow. On the contrary, describe in an understandable language the desired outcome. Also, there is a need to mention the expected behavior without specific details of how it should be achieved.    The Given When Then Structure – a scenario framework. This framework is divided into several parts: the “given”, which is the context of the prerequisites needed for the scenario to trigger actions; the “when” which discusses the actions taken by the end-user; and the “then” part is the exact expected outcome after the end-user has performed the actions.

How Behavior-Driven Development Works

In BDD, there are behavior-driven tests that are also called functional specifications. These specifications include an outline of the scenarios of application development. For example,

  • The principle of “5 Whys” or “If-Then” generates user stories and relates application features to a business purpose in a clear way;

  • Single outcome identification for every behavior;

  • Each scenario is translated into a DSL (domain-specific language) for better communication purposes;

  • All documentation is placed into one set available for every party involved (testers, developers, stakeholders).


Business Application of Behavior-Driven Development

Behavior-Driven Development is a collaborative and customer-focused approach. Therefore, businesses tend to use it for clear communication, shared understanding, and iterative development. This way, it is possible to produce top-notch products and services.


Let’s have a look at the best business applications of BDD:


Requirement Gathering and Analysis

BDD needs clear requirements in a natural language format. To ensure your team understands what has to be done, businesses should adhere to BDD during requirements gathering. Your team will define and document acceptance criteria, user stories, and end-to-end business processes in a faster and more reliable way.


User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

To describe the expected behavior of a system, BDD helps create executable specifications in the form of scenarios. Businesses can use executable specifications for user acceptance testing. Any business stakeholder can write test scenarios with a desired outcome, but also it will include a system that meets all the needs.


Process Improvement and Automation

BDD ensures continuous collaboration and feedback between all the parties involved in product software development. E.g., business stakeholders, developers, and testers. With BDD you can easily improve the SDLC procedures. Here, BDD can help identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas for improvement. Then you can automate repetitive tasks and make some of the processes faster.


Agile Project Management

Agile methodology is compatible with the BDD approach via Scrum and Kanban. Therefore, likewise in test-driven development, BDD business requirements are broken into smaller fragments with clear acceptance criteria. This allows quick responses to feedback, and more adaptability if the business needs are changeable. Iterations allow better productivity during project management processes.


Customer-Focused Development

End-users are the main audience when it comes to software development. Here, BDD helps understand and focus on the needs of customers and their feedback. BDD can both define and validate user stories with regard to end-user expectations. Such an approach allows mutual understanding, and, this way, provides better services.


Training and Documentation

It is best to have clear and executable specifications when it comes to documentation and training purposes. Here, BDD scenarios can help document system behavior and every process involved. This way, it would be essential to provide training materials or documentation that is easily understandable and extra user-friendly. It reduces the time of knowledge transfer in onboarding practices and increases operational efficiency.

Benefits You Get with Behavior-Driven Development

Application of the BDD approach to your organizational workflow will enhance every single process in the SDLC. Therefore, you will receive:

  • stronger collaboration

  • shorter learning curve

  • higher visibility

  • quicker iterations

  • BDD test suite

  • elimination of waste

  • focus on user needs

  • 100% met business objectives

Behavior-Driven Development Practices at Sencury

As a part of the DevOps and Agile culture implementation organization, BDD is the ultimate and advanced implementation of these philosophies. It is not only the cross-functional team preference or methodology the team follows but also the very nature of artifacts Sencury implements. Based on multi-years of industrial experience, Sencury can implement the right balance for each case and proper convergence of test documentation, requirements specifications, and test automation scripts per se. In this case, a traceability matrix matching the use case ID and test case ID is no longer needed and can be considered redundant.


Sencury offers QA strategy consulting, PM services within BDD methodology, and DevOps implementation to implement the BDD philosophy, methodology, culture, and a toolset for your particular case. Contact us to receive a consultation.


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