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You may have heard of behavior driven development (BDD) and wondered what it is. BDD is a software development process that is focused on the behavior of the software, not its implementation. This makes it a popular choice for teams that want to be sure that their software works as expected.

BDD is relevant for anyone who wants to ensure that their software works as expected. It is different from other development methods in that it allows for collaboration between business and technical stakeholders. This makes it an ideal process for organizations that want to be sure that their software meets customer needs.

In this guide, we will explain what BDD is, who it is relevant for, and how you can set up your team to use it effectively.

What Is Behavior Driven Development?

Behavior Driven Development, or BDD, is a development methodology that focuses on the behavior of code rather than its structure. It is relevant for teams of all sizes and is often seen as an alternative to Test-Driven Development (TDD).

BDD is different from other development methods in that it encourages collaboration between developers, testers, and business analysts. This collaboration allows for a shared understanding of the requirements and leads to better-quality code.

To use BDD effectively, you need to structure your team in a specific way. The diagram below illustrates how the different roles should be organized.

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What Are The Benefits Of Behavior Driven Development?

There are many benefits to using behavior driven development. Let's take a look at some of the key advantages:

1. Focuses on the customer: One of the biggest advantages of behavior driven development is that it focuses on the customer. The customer's needs and wants are always at the forefront of the process, which helps to ensure that they are happy with the final product.

2. Reduces complexity: Behavior driven development is known for its ability to reduce complexity. This is because it helps to break down features into small, manageable pieces that can be easily tested and modified.

3. Improves communication: Good communication is essential for any successful project. Behavior driven development helps to improve communication by identifying and documenting user requirements early on in the process. This makes it easier for everyone involved to understand what needs to be done and how best to do it.

4. Faster turnaround times: One of the biggest benefits of using behavior driven development is that it often leads to faster turnaround times. This is because it helps to eliminate ambiguity and speeds up the testing process.

How Is Behavior Driven Development Different From Other Development Methodologies?

So how is behavior driven development different from other development methodologies?

Well, for starters, it's designed to be more collaborative. Instead of relying on documentation or prototypes, the team works together to figure out the best way to interact with the system. This helps to ensure that the system is actually meeting the needs of the users.

Additionally, behavior driven development is more flexible than other methodologies. This allows for changes and tweaks to be made as the project progresses, rather than having to wait until the end of the project to make alterations.

Lastly, behavior driven development places a strong emphasis on testing. The tests are designed to be as close to actual user behavior as possible, in order to help identify any potential issues early on in the development process.

How Do I Implement Behavior Driven Development in My Organization?

So you've decided to try out behavior driven development. That's great! But now you may be wondering how to actually go about implementing it in your organization. Here are a few tips:

1. Make sure everyone on the team understands what behavior driven development is and how it works. This includes developers, QA testers, product owners, and managers.

2. Assign specific roles to team members. For example, developers should be responsible for writing code, QA testers should be responsible for testing code, and product owners should be responsible for defining and prioritizing requirements.

3. Create a test suite that can be used to verify that the code meets the requirements defined by the product owner. This test suite should be run regularly, preferably after every code change.

4. Establish a process for reporting and resolving defects. This includes defining a process for submitting defects, tracking defects until they're fixed, and verifying that the fix actually works.

To ensure that your Behavior Driven Development tests are as effective as possible, it's crucial to employ the right test management tools. These tools can help you keep track of test scenarios, results, and team collaboration.

What Challenges Should I Be Aware of When Implementing Behavior Driven Development?

There are a few challenges you should be aware of when implementing behavior driven development. One is that it can be difficult to get everyone on board with the new way of doing things. It's important to make sure that everyone understands the methodology and why it's important, so they can buy into it.

Another challenge is that it can be difficult to track and measure behavior. This is especially true when you're starting out and don't have a lot of data to work with. You need to find a way to track the right data and measure it in a way that makes sense for your team and your project.

Finally, be prepared for some resistance from team members who are used to working in a different way. It can be tough to change the way people work, but with patience and perseverance, you can eventually get everyone on board with behavior driven development.

How Do I Structure My Team for Behavior Driven Development?

Now that you understand the basics of behavior driven development, it's time to think about how to structure your team for success. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when creating your team:

First, you need a product owner who can represent the business and customer needs. This person will be responsible for defining and prioritizing the product's features, and they'll need to be able to work closely with the developers to make sure they understand what's important.

Next, you'll need a scrum master who can act as a coach and facilitator for the team. This person is responsible for making sure the team stays on track, meets their deadlines, and works effectively together.

Finally, you'll need developers who are skilled in using the behavior driven development methodology. These developers will need to be able to collaborate with the product owner and scrum master to build a product that meets the needs of both the business and the customer.


BDD is a popular development methodology that is growing in popularity. It is especially relevant for teams who want to be able to work more collaboratively and produce high-quality code.

Sarah Tolle
By Sarah Tolle

Sarah Tolle is the Content Director, Operations at Black & White Zebra, a media-tech company headquartered in Vancouver, BC. She oversees the strategy and operations of the media team producing a portfolio of influential digital publications earning 10M+ visits per year.