Managing risks in software testing

Risks in Software Testing

What are risks in software testing?

In life, people may encourage you to take risks but this post tells you to not take a risk: risks in software testing. Risks in software testing bring about undesirable outcomes or events which if not managed properly will result in unsatisfied customers.

Software projects with such risks face the loss of time, money and hard work. If testing is done improperly and with no organizing, the objective of the software project itself is at risk.

Testing determines the success of the final output and therefore is an integral part of every software project. Consequently, it is a non-optional part of any successful project although some enterprises treat it as an option and thereby face problems. In this blog, you learn about risks which arise in Software testing and how you can mitigate them.

Therefore, if your objective is learning to deal with these risks, read on to find out how this done by identifyinganalyzing, and processing the analyzed results.


Managing risks in Software Testing

Identifying the risks in software testing

Software testing comes with its own risks. First of all, when dealing with risks in software testing, it is imperative to identify the potential risks applicable to the project. If you do not discover what the risk is, it is almost like being unaware of the identity of your enemy which is disadvantageous for you.

Consequently, identifying the risks curtails the impact of any damage. Additionally, this makes mitigating and handling occurrences of risks easier. As a result, the project is back to optimum standards.

Identify the risks using the following options:

  • Studying the project plan and surveying the problems faced in previous similar projects.
  • Conducting brainstorming sessions with potential team members or/and with senior testers.
  • Creating a checklist with opinions of experienced testers (experienced person of same domain).

Analyzing the risks in software testingAnalysis of risks in software

Analyzing involves prioritizing the risks for evaluating them in a proper sequence. You should share an abstract report of the details after analysis with the stakeholders. By doing this in the early stages, you avoid risks later.

The steps to analyze risks are:

  1. First of all, formulate a Risks Analysis Matrix consisting of the priorities, severities, and impacts of the risk you have identified.
  2. Create a weighted list to help you prioritize the risks based on an impact.
  3. Finally, list out and regularly update the external and internal resource dependency.

Mitigation Process

The following factors are useful for mitigating the risks in software testing.

  1. When there is delay in the build for testing
  • On the basis of the priorities, list the functionalities you require to test. Keep in mind the priorities may vary according to the stage the current project is in. For eg: Beta phase, PoC phase, Conference-room-pilot, final product etc.
  • Prepare the Test cases, Test Data, and the Testing environment.
  • Acquire help from other experienced testers. Most noteworthy, impart proper knowledge to the tester who requires it.
  • Identify possibilities to test the Key, Prioritized items first.
  1. Frequent Requirement Change
  • Carry out the Ad hoc method with less formal documentation.
  • Prepare the Generic Test case documents. You can make changes, if you require, with a minimum redo. For e.g. the test case document can be divided into Core (base, mandatory functionality) and satellite (cosmetics, frills, changeable parts).
  • Identify the impacts of a requirement change across the software modules to make sure Regression testing is planned thoroughly on every requirement change.
  • Know the stakeholder, talk to them and set the objective to minimize the unnecessary requirement change – time wise (every week), module wise release etc.
  1. Clear on all the mandatories
  • Understand the SRS(Software Requirements Specification) document to avoid any confusion in preparing test cases. This also helps in ensuring you compose the Entry and Exit criteria clearly.
  • The testing team should acquire knowledge on the Testing environment. This ensures that the testing team can deploy the project as well as thoroughly test the Testing bed.

Avoiding or managing risks early

  • The testing team must involve themselves at the requirement gathering stage for better understanding of client’s business needs. Additionally, this also helps in preparing efficient functional test case, test data and test environment setup.
  • Prepare Test plan with sufficient buffers.Avoiding risks in software
  • Regularly update the test plan document for every requirement change.
  • Deliver the System Test Case document at an earlier SDLC stage. Consequently, you can minimize the risk of requirement change and avoid misinterpreting requirements at later stages.
  • The tester must make sure the environment is ready before testing so that the testing schedules are not affected.
  • Prepare efficient Test Data before beginning the testing process. Also, data scripts can be prepared in advance to load the data quickly.
  • Track all the defects. Test leads should review all defects to identify patterns or dependency issues.
  • Make sure the Regression testing is done thoroughly on every requirement change.
  • Conduct a meeting regularly (e.g. once every week to discuss important and potential risks. Form a summary of the meeting and email it to project stakeholders.
  • Consider learnings from previous projects to identify similar risks and mitigate proactively.

By following the above instructions you ensure that the testing goes well thereby attaining the final output. If you require more help with testing, please subscribe.

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