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Software Testing Strategy - Prepare your Software for Launch

Software Testing Strategy – Prepare your Software for Launch

Introduction

All software must be tested to ensure that it works as intended before being released to the public. Testing must be rigorous to ensure that users are satisfied with it and have no complaints. A bad review, or negative word of mouth, of your software, can hamper its success on the open market or mean that staff will not use the new software.

This also applies to building websites, so even if your software works great but your website doesn’t, it may deter people from returning. Further reputation damage will reduce sales which will inevitably cause more significant problems.

But many people operate successful software testing strategies to mitigate negative word of mouth. A rigorous software testing strategy tests the product to ensure it works as expected, not just in everyday scenarios but also in the unexpected. For example, what if a user clicks on the wrong button, adds too many variables, adds characters, etc.?

This article will look at types of software testing and how you can develop your software testing strategy to ensure issues are identified and corrected before they become a target. 

Test Plan and Test Strategy – The Difference

Many people get confused between a test plan and a test strategy. Both have similar goals, to ensure that the software is working perfectly. However, there are lots of differences between the two.

Test Plan

The test plan is a very detailed document that will determine the main points of the testing. It will have information within the document that includes the destinations, timescales, techniques, estimations, and assets required for the software testing.

The main goal is to decide on the effort required to approve the application/software after testing. Diagrams can direct testers in the exercises used to test the software. At the same time, the procedure is minutely observed and constrained by a test manager who oversees the whole process.

You will also have details within the Test Plan detailing what is required to pass a test, which is detailed to test the software, and more.

Test Strategy

The test strategy is a set of instructions/protocols to explain and detail the test design and showcase how to perform the test. An arrangement describes the approach for testing and answers what is required to complete and how to achieve it.

Know: Different Types of APIs & Protocols

The test strategy is a record for any Quality Assurance group in testing. The strategy should include targets, extensions, customer correspondence, system documentation design, test forms, revealing group structure, and other information.

A single test strategy can be used to develop lots of different test plans.

Software Testing Strategy

A software testing strategy is an important document and should be shared across your application testing team. Whether you are testing contracts management software or payroll software, without the strategy, testing can go very wrong, and you might end up missing errors that cause disruption once released.

The senior developer or project manager should write this high-level document. The test strategy is derived from another document that should have been created before the application was built, the Business Requirement Specification document.

A Test Strategy document is very rarely updated. It is a standard process for testing all applications and software your company develops. Instead, changes are made to a Test Plan from the standards and procedures set out in the Test Strategy document.

However, many brands will include the strategy within their plan. But this is usually only for smaller projects or when they would like to refer back to it, and it is easier to have access to one document.

Numerous components of the Test Strategy document need to be completed. These include the following:

  • The test scope and objectives.
  • What issues does the business experience?
  • The roles and responsibilities of the testing and software development team.
  • How communications are made, what should be included, and when.
  • How status reports are completed.
  • The deliverables of the test.
  • The industry standards to adhere to.
  • Which automation tools and testing software is to be utilized?
  • What measurements and metrics are to be used?
  • The risks and mitigation.
  • How defects are reported and tracked.
  • How changes and configurations are going to be managed.
  • What training plans are there for the software (if applicable)?

Learn More: Defect Leakage in Software Testing

You can include other items in the plan using your judgment. Once you’ve done this, you can start to develop the test plan.

Below are some detailed parts of the testing process that you should use.

Specify the requirements of the product

One of the first parts of the software testing strategy is to ensure that the document details the requirements of the product. Many outputs might be required as part of the software. You should describe exactly what output you expect from the software.

For instance, if you expect output figures with a range, i.e., 1-100, you need to say that all outputs should be between that number. Or, if you expect the software to be able to merge two sets of data, you need to state that.

Many project managers find it helpful to create an example of the expected outcome using manual options or other software. Therefore, testers can assess the outcome and the desired results during the testing.

With every test plan that you create, this should be one of the first things mentioned and should be taken directly from the testing strategy.

Specify the objectives of testing

When creating the test plan, choosing the objective is crucial. Unfortunately, this is sometimes missing from the plan or even strategy. The main reason it is left out is that it might seem obvious why the test is being done: to ensure there are no errors. However, there are different objectives within testing.

For instance, you might want to test whether the user can easily use your software. Or that the software can integrate with a third-party app. These elements must be listed. And different test plans might focus on other test purposes. So one test could be on the front-end use while a second test could be about the mobile output of the software.

Identify the user’s requirements

Another feature that is often forgotten is the user’s requirements. Many applications and software products are developed to solve problems, but users aren’t always considered. For instance, some users want a software solution to integrate with other software, whereas others wish for specific outputs.

If you don’t know the user’s requirements, then you have no way to tell whether the end user will accept the test output. And therefore, the test is not useful. Consequently, you might need to conduct focus groups with the intended end user. This should have been done before the application development, but if not, it has to be done before release.

The user’s requirements can be listed in simple bullet points, or they can be very intricate. It depends on the level of detail required for the software.

Develop a test plan

You need to know who, how and what will be done to test the application. There are many different ways to test software, and it depends on the user, objective, and input you will use as to which strategy will be best for your specific need.

A static test is performed without you needing to run the developing product. This is a desk-checking operation where you look at the code and ensure that everything is error-free. For instance, a typo within the code.

The next part of the test should be a structural test. No software can be tested without this step. It is also known as white-box testing. This is usually an automated process running within the test automation framework. It works by testing the outputs of the application against previous outcomes that have been developed.

Testing teams can check these to see if there have been changes in the system’s behaviour.

The final stage of the testing is known as behavioural testing. This is when the software is tested based on the reactions to inputs and activities and not on the mechanisms of the software. This can also be known as black-box testing. The idea is that the testing team is given a set of inputs with the expected outcomes, and the team must ensure that these work.

In addition, the behavioural test might check that the software is user-friendly and that certain aspects aren’t hard to use. The testing team should report on this by showing the operation they tried to carry out, what was expected from the software and what occurred.

Fix the bugs and errors

After this stage, it is responsible for detailing how bugs and errors will be fixed. There are three levels of bugs and errors that you can have. Critical are those that are stopping the software from working altogether. For instance, a specific input will crash the system rendering it inoperable. The next are essential bugs when the system works, but there are errors within the output, or the software takes too long.

There is also the quality of life bugs. This can be something as simple as there should be a more straightforward way to input the information for the software. Or the controls are too challenging to use. Quality of life isn’t often seen as a priority, but it can contribute to the success of the software, but generally speaking, they don’t stop it from working and are often fixed last.

Conduct Manual Testing

Another thing to do is to conduct manual testing of any software. Your testing team can do this, but the end user can also do it. Manual testing allows you to check that the software is ready for release.

Another important aspect is to test the recently made changes to fix bugs and errors. Some of the worst software testing mistakes are trying to fix one problem to cause a second issue further down the line.

As with the earlier testing, you should be looking to ensure that you are printing off reports. You should have a list of the expected outcomes and the actual outcomes.

Develop an approach for the continuous development

While the software is released, the development of the software should never be assumed to be complete. You might consider that you’ve thought of every single application input or user behavior that could create an error, but there are always things that testers and developers have not thought of.

In addition, software changes to operating systems, third-party software, and other elements might affect the performance of your software.

Therefore, you should always develop a plan and approach for the continuous development of your applications. An excellent example of this is the game developer Paradox. They have teams to ensure that games continuously work by testing games against new software and hardware and fixing errors that users have reported.

And if you’re struggling with your software testing, then consider looking at Testsigma products and its services. Their open-source test automation software is there to support application developers deliver the best experience to users and customers. They have loads of helpful advice and support on their development blog too.

Your continuous development team might need good skills at replicating errors, as users are often not good at providing a framework for how the error happened.

Conclusion

Software testing is a vital component for building and releasing software. Whether selling your software or using it internally, you must create software testing strategy documents and plans. Above are essential parts of the strategy document and how to complete a basic software test. By testing your software early, you can release a better product and improve the uptake from customers or staff members.


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