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Checklist based testing


What is Checklist based testing?

This is an experience based software testing dependent on a pre planned "to-do" list of tasks composed by a professional tester having past technical experience. This list acts as an authentic guide to direct the testing process.

What constitutes checklist based testing?

The testing professional uses a generalized list of schedule tasks and standard rules against which the software application needs to be tested for flaws. These manual like "to-do" lists can be a physical or a mental list or a list prepared for online circulation. Such lists then form the "checklist" which enumerates all the conventional actions performed phase wise during the course of testing cycle. With the completion of each phase, the listed activities are ticked off step by step.

As an example, let us consider a checklist for testing the image uploading functionality:

  • Checking for image uploading path.
  • Checking for image uploading.
  • Check for image uploading with different extensions such as JPEG or BMP.
  • Checking for uploading images with same names.
  • Check if the image is getting uploaded within the maximum allowable size and if not, it is necessary to verify that an error message is appearing.
  • Check if the bar showing the progress of image uploading is appearing or not.
  • Checking the functionality of the cancel button at the time of image upload.
  • Checking for multiple image uploading.
  • Checking for good quality of uploaded image.
  • Checking if the user is able to save the image post the uploading process.

What are the kinds of defects encountered during check list based testing?

  • Defects arise due to variation in data.
  • Defects may also arise due to difference in sequence of standardised procedures or workflow.

What are the advantages of using checklist based testing?

  • Checklists used in this form of testing are time tested guidelines for ensuring an excellent coverage which can take out most of the flaws in the software product. Hence reusing the test cases based on these guidelines can only help in cutting down costs incurred in missing out on important testing aspects.
  • Checklist based testing are a welcome boon for companies where meeting deadlines becomes difficult and the testers are liable to miss out on executing some critical tests.
  • At the time of testing, sometimes an innovative testing method may be borne out of a project which can add value to the testing exercise.. The testing professionals working on other project maybe ignorant of this new technique. This aspect is beautifully taken care of when any innovative strategy found out in one project becomes part of the testing check list to be replicated in other projects.
  • Checklists can help in better integration of new testing personnel into the organisation as they have readymade guidelines in place to start testing on a project with confidence.

What are the difficulties encountered during check list based testing?

  • Difference in interpretation of checklists by some of the testers can lead to different approaches to accomplish the tasks as mentioned in the checklist.
  • Software applications of today are regularly in need of improvements through different upgrades. Therefore checklists have also to be upgraded over time to comprehensively cover testing of all the new aspects related to products of similar functionalities.
  • The complex or the advanced level of some of the tests can affect the reproducibility of the test results.
  • The checklists come handy as a stop gap arrangement for last grasp testing. Its utility is questionable for holistic testing over the entirety of the software development life cycle.