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What are Software Testing Standards?

February 23, 2024Pricilla Bilavendran
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“Without standards, there can be no improvement” – Taiichi Ohno, Japanese engineer and businessman

Software testing is essential for ensuring the reliability and quality of software products. 

In this fast-evolving technological landscape, people are busy juggling multiple things, and it is essential to have a set of standards and processes in place to guide and govern the testing and development of the software. These standards and processes provide a framework for managing the entire software development lifecycle, from requirements gathering to post-release maintenance. They help ensure the software meets the desired functionality, performance, and user experience expectations. 

In this blog, we will explore the importance of standards and processes in software testing, what are common standards, and how they contribute to the success of software testing projects.

Define: Software Testing Standards

Software testing standards are a set of guidelines and principles used to define and guide the process of software testing. These standards outline the strategies, procedures, methodologies, and best practices for testing software to ensure its quality, functionality, and performance. They also provide a foundation for creating and evaluating software testing processes, techniques, and tools. Some common software testing standards include ISO/IEC 29119, IEEE 829, and ISO/IEC 9126. Adhering to these standards can help organizations improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their software testing processes and ultimately deliver high-quality software products to customers.

Here is a brief guide to some of the key elements of software testing standards:

  • Test planning: This is the process of defining the scope, objectives, and approach to software testing.
  • Test case development: This is the process of creating test cases that will be used to test software.
  • Test execution: This is the process of running test cases against software.
  • Test analysis: This is the process of reviewing test results and identifying defects.
  • Test reporting: This is the process of communicating test results to stakeholders.

Benefits of Software Testing Standards

Software testing standards are an important part of the software development process. They can help to improve the quality of software, reduce the risk of defects, and improve the efficiency of software testing. 

If you are involved in software testing, it is important to be familiar with the software testing standards that apply to your project. This will help you to ensure that you are testing software effectively and that you are meeting the expectations of your stakeholders.

Software testing standards are important for several reasons. They can help in:

  1. Increased Quality: Software testing standards offer guidelines, best practices, and recommendations for testing software, resulting in a more rigorous and comprehensive testing process. This, in turn, leads to higher-quality software with fewer defects.
  2. Reduced Costs: Organizations may save time and money on rework and bug fixes by adhering to established testing standards and identifying and fixing issues earlier in the software development cycle.
  3. Consistency: Testing standards ensure that every project and team member is uniformly executing testing. This produces outcomes that are more dependable and predictable, which facilitates problem-solving and replication. 
  4. Compliance: Many industries, such as healthcare, insurance, and finance, have regulatory requirements for software testing. Some regions/countries follow heavy privacy regulations when handling data. Adhering to recognized testing standards can help organizations demonstrate compliance with these regulations.
  5. Better Communication: Testing standards provide a uniform language and framework for communicating testing operations and results. As a result, there are fewer miscommunications and mistakes among team members, stakeholders, and clients.
  6. Risk Mitigation: Testing standards help identify potential risks and vulnerabilities in a software product, allowing organizations to address them before they become bigger problems. This reduces the likelihood of software failure or security breaches.
  7. Improved Customer Satisfaction: Organizations can ensure that their software is thoroughly tested and meets or exceeds customer expectations by following testing standards. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  8. Continuous Improvement: Software testing standards are updated and revised regularly to stay up with the latest developments in development techniques and technology. Organizations can stay up-to-date and continuously enhance their testing procedures by adhering to these standards.
  9. Enhanced Efficiency: Organizations can boost productivity and efficiency by streamlining their testing efforts with standardized testing techniques and technologies.
  10. Increased Confidence: By following recognized testing standards, organizations can have confidence in the quality and reliability of their software. This, in turn, can help build trust with customers and strengthen the organization’s reputation.

Commonly used Software Testing Standards:

Commonly used Software Testing Standards:

Many different software testing standards are available, each with its own set of specific requirements. Some of the most common standards include:

  • ISO/IEC 29119: This international standard defines software testing processes, test documentation, and test techniques. It provides guidelines for test planning, test design, test execution, and test closure.
  • ISO 25000: A family of standards that guides software quality management and software testing.
  • IEEE 829: This standard specifies the structure and content of software test documentation, including test plans, test cases, and test reports.
  • ISO/IEC 25010: This standard focuses on quality characteristics and metrics for software products. It defines criteria for evaluating software quality attributes such as functionality, reliability, usability, and performance. Provide a common language for testers to communicate with each other.

How do you find software testing standards?

There are a few ways to find and get yourself familiar with software testing standards:

  • Industry-specific standards organizations: Many industries have specific organizations that create and maintain standards for software testing. For example, the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) focuses on international software testing standards, while the American Society for Quality (ASQ) has standards for a variety of industries including software testing. Searching for and joining these organizations can provide access to their standards.
  • Conferences and events: Attend industry conferences and events related to software testing, where experts and professionals often share information and updates on the latest software testing standards.
  • Online resources: There are several websites and online resources, such as the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which provide information on software testing standards. The ISTQB, for example, has a public repository of its standards available for download. Additionally, many companies and organizations may publish their standards on their websites or make them available for purchase.
  • Professional networks: Networking with other software testing professionals can be a great way to learn about and access different standards. Attending industry conferences, joining online forums or groups, and connecting with other professionals on platforms like LinkedIn can provide valuable insights and resources.
  • Community forums and discussion boards: Join software testing community forums and discussion boards, where members often discuss and share information about software testing standards.
  • Training and certification courses: Many training and certification courses in software testing cover different standards and best practices. These courses can be a helpful resource for learning about and implementing standards in your testing process.
  • Industry publications: Subscribe to relevant industry publications, such as software testing magazines and journals, which often feature articles and updates on software testing standards.

How do you choose software testing standards?

Every organization/project has peculiar needs, so based on that, we need to choose the standard. Let’s explore what are the common factors to think about before deciding on the testing standard.

  1. Identify business and project goals: The first step in choosing software testing standards is to identify the business and project goals. This will help determine the scope, objectives, and requirements for testing.
  2. Deep Understanding of the domain: It is important to understand the industry/domain in which the software is developed and used. This will help in understanding the best practices and standards that are commonly followed in the industry.
  3. Review regulatory requirements: Regulations or standards that must be adhered to may vary depending on the type of software. These should be examined and taken into account when selecting testing standards.
  4. Determine the level of risk: Selecting the right testing standards will also depend on how risky the program is. Stricter testing guidelines could be needed for software that has a higher risk.
  5. Consider the type of software/application: The kind of software — web, mobile, or business software, for example—will also influence whether testing standards are appropriate.
  6. Evaluate available testing standards: Many testing standards are available, including IEEE, ISO, and ISTQB standards. It is crucial to assess these standards and select the one that most closely matches the objectives and specifications of the project.
  7. Analyze the team’s skills: It’s important to take into account the testing team’s qualifications and experience. It could be simpler to apply a certain testing standard if the team is already familiar with it.
  8. Determine the budget and resources: The choice of testing standards will also be influenced by the testing resources and budget. Certain standards could call for certain equipment and supplies, which might not be available for the project.
  9. Discuss with industry experts and other stakeholders: When selecting testing standards, it’s critical to have counsel and direction from seasoned professionals, industry experts, and project stakeholders. Based on their experience, they can offer insightful advice.

How do you apply software testing standards?

“What gets measured, gets improved” – Peter Drucker, Austrian-American consultant and educator.

  1. Familiarize yourself with software testing standards: The first step is to understand the various software testing standards and familiarize yourself with the standards and their requirements to ensure successful implementation.
  2. Analyze your software testing process: Assess your present testing procedure and determine its advantages and disadvantages. This will assist you in identifying the standards that apply and need to be followed.
  3. Define testing objectives: Establish precise goals for your testing and ascertain whether software testing standards correspond with them. This will assist in guaranteeing that your testing procedure is concentrated on accomplishing certain goals.
  4. Detailed Test Plan: Create a thorough test plan that lists all of the tasks, activities, and resources required to satisfy software testing requirements.
  5. Document the testing process: Record every step of the testing process, including the test cases, outcomes, and defects. To maintain consistency and traceability, this documentation should abide by the standards’ requirements.
  6. Ensure compliance: Make sure your testing process is in compliance with the requirements by conducting routine reviews and audits. This will assist in locating any gaps or areas in need of development.
  7. Implement tools and techniques: To increase the efficacy and efficiency of the testing process, software testing standards frequently suggest certain tools and techniques. Examine these choices and take appropriate action as needed.
  8. Train your team: It is essential to train your team on the software testing standards and guidelines to ensure they understand and adhere to them during the testing process.
  9. Continuously improve: Assess your testing procedure on a regular basis to find opportunities for improvement. To guarantee ongoing progress, incorporate suggestions and lessons discovered into the next testing cycles.
  10. Stay updated: Keep yourself updated with the latest developments in software testing standards to ensure that your testing process remains up-to-date and effective. 
  11. Communicate to all stakeholders: Once the standards have been chosen, it is important to document them and communicate them to all stakeholders. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and follows the same standards.


Conclusion

If you are involved in software testing, it is important to be familiar with the software testing standards that apply to your project, because it varies depending on the specific project and the organization. This will assist you to ensure that you are testing software effectively and that you are meeting the expectations of your stakeholders.  

Testing standards play a vital role in ensuring the quality and success of software projects. By following these standards, organizations can establish consistent testing practices, improve efficiency, and deliver high-quality software that meets customer expectations. Embracing software testing standards is essential for any development team looking to enhance their testing processes and produce reliable software products.

P.C: Freepik

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