Software developers and testers often face this question in team huddles, when release timelines come knocking on the door or even worse, when some bug leaks into production, only to be reported by the end user.
Did we test enough? How could we improve? Why didn’t we catch it? How can we prevent it?
There is no easy, static or one-fit-all response. In fact, this discussion leads organisations and teams to think as much inward as outward to curate bespoke boundaries defining when and where to put a lid on testing. This requires taking note of the product evolution journey, changing consumer preferences and technological advancements that are shaping the software-centric nature of industries all across.
But is it an ambiguous territory? No, all it means is that the answer requires a strategic roadmap for establishing the rules of thumb and updating them regularly.
Establishing clear guidelines on the amount of testing to be done at various levels – Every product goes through three basic levels of testing – unit tests, integration tests and end-to-end testing. So, organisations trying to define the amount of testing at each stage must consider the following
- What is the product all about – functionality, usage, scope
- What are the risks involved in this product – security, user-related, financial, regulatory etc
- What are the limitations that the team needs to deal with – budgetary and time
- How much test automation is required and advisable for the teams to remain super-efficient
Once these questions are clearly answered, you are aware of the parameters based on which you should decide on the limits of your testing cycles.
Please note that the idea here is neither to do the bare minimum in testing nor to push the limit till every scenario is covered but to keep it somewhere in between these two extremes – a combination which is good enough for a release that’s on time, meets product and business goals, ensures optimal risk coverage for consumers and business and promises to deliver a smooth user experience. Among the risks involved, it is critical to identify, manage and prioritize their severity so that testing coverage can be aligned to minimise their probability and impact.
If you go by the best practices of the top technology companies in the world, it is important to have unit tests in as much detail as possible since bugs that skip unit testing tend to delay the entire schedule and cost more resources when they are detected and fixed in the development cycle later. A similar focus needs to be given to integration testing since they test the strength of the codes as an integrated unit (which is the ultimate role every code needs to play in the final product). However, since they tend to require smaller environment mocking and faking, they can be done faster and even better, they can be automated but skipping them or reducing their frequency is not advisable. When deciding on end-to-end testing, we recommend having them automated since they prepare the app for the real world. Critical user journeys may be identified while designing these end-to-end testing frameworks to ensure the coverage is comprehensive.
What about the other tests – need and extent
You don’t need to go for every other test available under the sun in pursuit of perfection but how do you decide which ones to include and which ones to omit?
This is where the role of a seasoned testing partner comes into play. With expertise in handling testing for different products across industries, these experts help you in identifying the tests that will add value to your SDLC while aligning with release schedules.
Does your product need localised testing for a release? At what stage should performance testing be done to ensure shorter regression cycles? What tools should your team be using for accessibility testing? These and many more – A qualified testing partner just does not test your products but is invested in your business vision and works towards realising them. Hence, they will work together with your development teams to find out the answers to all these and come up with a plan that is customised to your business requirements.
Adapting these guidelines as per market dynamics
It is equally important to review the testing boundaries agreed upon at regular intervals so that it aligns with the changing customer preferences and market conditions. One of the easy ways to know if the testing requires a rejig is by analysing customer feedback on your releases. These feedbacks often show patterns of the expectations that users have from your products and how your testing should align to integrate them into the product development cycle.
Tools evolve, customers adapt, markets go through cycles, disruptive forces change industry dynamics and with time, unknown uncertainties shape industries. Your product should be robust enough to deal with all these known and unknown forces to survive and thrive in the market. Testing helps you achieve just that. But knowing where to stop your testing is equally important as knowing where to begin.
Qapitol QA has successfully partnered with several unicorns and soonicorns to enable quality releases at an accelerated pace. We understand how to add depth to your testing strategy while aligning with your release schedules and your product goals of creating a seamless omnichannel user experience. Our scalable and customized test automation framework has weaved several success stories for our clients in fintech, e-commerce, logistics and healthcare. If you are keen on knowing if your testing strategy is good enough, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org