Transition to automation
Once scenarios are finalized by the team, they can be transferred to a “Feature” file inside your chosen Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to be automated by either developers or test automation engineers. When ready, an automation engineer can convert previously finalized scenario steps into a coded test method. This ensures full coverage of the requirement by the automation code. It’s that simple.
As mentioned above, scenarios are grouped in feature-related files. These files should be a part of regular code check-in procedures, so the code base contains all the latest changes for source code and the accompanying test coverage components. This is a great way to keep track of changes and scenario content in synch, but what about those on the team who does not have access to the source control repository?
To address that, practitioners of BDD have created a mechanism that produces feature file-based reporting. The original reporting utility was called “Pickles” reporting and it could be used across multiple technologies and programming languages. More recently, Azure DevOps started using the same approach with the introduction of the LivingDoc extension. The extension provides a number of parameters including an ability to choose the output format like Word, PDF, HTML and the ability to set the output location providing the ability to easily and consistently update a shared file storage location that team members can easily access to gain insight into updates.
Ideally, the ADO project’s CI/CD pipeline(s) would contain an action step to trigger a report generating utility like LivingDoc so that no manual intervention is required. Reports are nicely formatted and accessible for everyone on the teams. it is always up-to-date and what we call "Living."
How this helps your team
The BDD process will not solve every problem on an agile team, but it is a proven framework to enhance communication within a team, contributing to higher quality releases. Generally, adopting the BDD process is not difficult with proper coaching and diligence; and as the practice matures, teams will start to see the benefits quickly.
You can start your BDD journey by transitioning to this plain language approach and instating the “Three Amigos” sessions. Once your teams transition to this quality-first approach, concentrating on behavior of the system and close collaboration of cross-functional teams early, reinforced by BDD process, you will notice improved continuous delivery, reduction in bug numbers and unwanted surprises, and the ability to naturally transition to the Shift-Left approach.