How to Build Testing Strategy
The testing strategy is a set of guidelines in test management in which the manager sets out the main steps in testing, business requirements, quality metrics, and successful product delivery approaches to a client.
A well-built strategy will help you build the scope of your requirements and ways to achieve ones.
Usually, a testing strategy is provided by test managers as a document. This document describes the whole process of testing, including tools, scopes, terms, etc. The difference between the test plan and strategy is that plan describes the main goals and strategy describes how to achieve the main goals.
Performance testing strategy document may include:
1. Brief Introduction
This paragraph describes a project overall, with key states, milestones, and conditions. Also, it indicates which team members will use the document and who is responsible for task completion. Specify which tools will be used at each testing level. Write down the requirements for each of them.
2. Testing Approach
This paragraph describes each level of testing that will be conducted as part of a project. The description includes the reasons to conduct a particular test type, the role of team members in test conducting, the approach to testing, testing time frames, the conditions for test passing, etc. Basically, the testing approach is a specific technique or method for performing the testing process.
3. Test Environment
Here a team points out requirements for testing environments in which testing will be conducted. You need to define which operating system, software product, and server, you’ll demand, and technical requirements for them. Describe the number of test environments and responsible people who have access to them. Define test data and data configurations. One of the major points of this strategy is a backup, which prevents losing a significant part of the data. Designate who will back up, under what conditions, and what kind of data will be backed up.
4. Release and Configuration Management
Release management is a separate discipline in software development. The responsible person sets the dates for the release and software deployment, determines the contents of the built, and whether it meets the client requirements. Release managers should always be in close contact with testers and inform them of development changes. Set dates when both teams meet and discuss the process of working on the product, for example, before each sprint. Many testing failures can be avoided if the testers would have known more about product deployment.
5. Risk Analysis
For risk analysis, you will need two approaches: 1) analysis of existing data, requirements, and product specifics; 2) brainstorming with project participants. Gather a list of all possible risks and evaluate their severity. High-risk cases should be checked as often as possible. The most common risks in software testing include the delayed deployment of the program, lack of personnel or experienced personnel, changing requirements, etc.
6. Automation Strategy
Software product testing is always a combination of manual and automatic testing. Therefore, when planning a testing strategy, you must take into account the automation testing strategy for the project. Determine which test cases you will automate. Determine what problems you are trying to solve by automation testing, whether automation fits into your work processes. To create an automation testing strategy, use the following methods:
- Mike Cohn’s Pyramid. The pyramid is based on unit tests, as they are the least expensive and fastest to complete. At the second level of the pyramid, API tests, and at the third, testing user interfaces. The idea of the pyramid is to reduce costs. The main way to approach it is to make unit-tests a basis of testing. Also, with this approach, your team can faster indicate errors and bugs and get quick feedback if regression in code occurs.
- Another method is Elfriede Dustin’s Automated Lifecycle Testing Methodology. According to this method, the life cycle of automated testing consists of six stages:
- Automation decision
- Buying a test instrument
- The process of introducing automated testing
- Planning, design, and development of tests
- Test execution and management
- Test program review and assessment
7. Performance Testing Strategy
In a testing strategy, you should involve a performance testing strategy. Websites, programs, apps can’t do without performance testing. If you miss this step in development, you may lose money and new customers. Without performance testing, you won’t find out whether to meet your product quality standards, bottlenecks in a system, the ability to cope with high traffic, etc.
To accurately and quickly achieve your testing goals, you need a strategy. Building an ideal strategy requires an understanding of business processes and customer requests.
You need to know what features of the application to pay attention to. For a working product, refer to analytics. Otherwise, discuss with the client, which product features will be most beneficial.
Determine the load on the product and the estimated maximum user traffic. If the application is already running, use the existing data. This information will help you to avoid a server crash within the influx of customers during the sales season.
These types of testing may help when you are developing your performance strategy:
1) Risk testing. This approach will help to determine priorities in testing and focus on vulnerabilities, identify which features can save resources, which areas affect profits the most.
2) Component Testing. Each program consists of components. The task of this method is to test each component in isolation, that is, separately from each other. The strategy needs to identify at the initial stage all the important components of testing. For performance testing, such results of component testing as response time, a maximum number of calls per second are useful.
Test strategy is one of the important components of the testing process. Many teams skip this step to save time and budget. But a well-formed strategy will help you establish a testing process, satisfy business goals, and reduce risks.
All the items on the list of this article are good, but this is not a solid rule. Adjust the test strategy to the needs of your team and client. The strategy is not just an extra document, but a necessary and useful tool for any team.
Anastasia Radkovska is a content writer at a software testing agency Utor, an easily managed team that can implement QA process from scratch.