Audit in Software Testing

Delivering a software product of maximum quality is the utmost priority of an organization and complete care is being taken while developing and testing a software product. However, still some of the them lacks to comply with the standards, guidelines, specifications and other such specific & established criteria. This needs a complete audit of the software development process, including testing phase. Here, we are going to discuss about the audit process with respect to software testing, only. So, first, let's go through the terminology 'Audit'.

What is meant by the Audit?

In the field of software testing, audit may be defined as the process, to evaluate a software product, against the specified and established standards and specification, so as to ensure that the developed product, adheres to these standards.

The basic purpose, to carry out the audit of a software testing phase, is to examine, that if the process, being used and implemented, in the testing process, is of defined and desired standard or not.

Types of Audit

The different types of audit that may be performed on the software testing process, includes following kinds:

Audit to Verify Compliance:

This type of audit, involves the inspection of actual testing activities executed, against what was planned and documented. Further, it is also done to verify, whether the procedures followed for the testing purposes, complies with the specific or desired standard and guidelines, such as ISO, CMMI.

Audit for process improvement:

It is carried out, to enhance or improve the testing process (if possible), by looking and in-depth analysing the every step or approach, being taken, including facts and figures associated with each step or approach.

Audit for Root Cause Analysis:

It's a kind of backtracking type inspection of the testing process, which retraces the path of the testing activities, being performed, so as to identify and locate the root cause of a particular problem.

Internal Audits:

These are the audits, performed by the personnels within the organization.

External Audits:

Audit, which involves the outsourcing agency, could be seen as the external audits.

How to perform Audit for a software testing process?

Audit is just the inspection process, used to verify and validate something. Therefore, there are multiple ways, to perform the audit operation, over the software testing process. Below given, are some of them:

  • Examining the testing processes, being carried out, against the planned & defined procedures and guidelines, which was documented in the form of a testing or a quality manual, prior to testing phase, for the purpose of directing the testing phase.
  • Reviewing and analyzing, each and every documented artifacts or deliverables, used or produced, at each phase of the testing lifecycle, which may include following items:
    • Test Suite
    • Test Cases
    • Test Logs
    • Defect Report
    • Status
    • Test Coverage
    • Traceability Matrix
  • Interviewing the various testing professionals, engaged at each different level of the testing phase, so as to gain access to each one's prevailing thoughts with respect to the testing process.

What could be covered under Audit process?

Depending upon the needs and thorough inspection, many things could be brought under the radar of the audit process, such as

  • Deliverables: At each step or at different level of testing, various deliverables or artifacts are being produced. However, the authenticity of these deliverables, needs to be verified, as if they actually exist or not.
  • Test Cases: It is examined, to check whether the test cases, have the sufficient coverage of complete specified requirements, functionalities and features.
  • Sometimes, some of the bugs are not resolved or fixed, keeping in account their severity, and the product is released or delivered with those bugs, with the view to fix them later. Therefore, it may be inspected that if any known or identified bug, is still prevailing in the delivered product.
  • Different Levels of testing, to ensure that a particular bug does not gets filtered through, without getting noticed or detected.

In light of the above, it may be concluded that auditing is a must process, to maintain the reliability and integrity of the testing process, along with the adherence to the certain specified criteria and standards, to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the testing phase, along with the detection of gaps and loopholes, which may help in preventing the bugs and defects in the software application.