What is meant by the Test Approach?
An approach is used to define the strategy which needs to be implemented and executed, to carry out a particular task. Similarly, a test approach reflects the strategy to be implemented in order to carry out the testing activity.
Basically, a test approach as a documented artifact defines a particular way or method to carry out the testing process, which may be seen in the test plans and designs. Through test approach, it’s easy to interpret and understand the what's and how's of a testing process, such as
- What is the scope and objective of the testing process?
- What needs to be considered and tested?
- How to test?
- How much to test? and many more such things
A good selection of test approach ensures the sufficient amount of test coverage, along with the identification of maximum number of defects in less cost and within the stipulated deadline.
Broadly, there are two types of technique to define the test approach, which may be seen as under:
- Proactive:This approach defines and prepares the approach or way to carry out the testing procedures, as soon as possible, even before the development of the initial software build. The said technique may be seen as a preventive approach, in order to find and fix defects.
- Reactive:Contrary to proactive approach, reactive approach involves the defining and creation of test procedures, only after the completion of the development phase, i.e. approach could only be initiated, when the development of a software product has been finished.
Apart from the above stated two techniques, a test approach based on different context and perspective may be categorized into following types:
- Analytical approach:Analytical approaches involves, selecting and defining the approaches based on the analysis of some factors or conditions associated with the software product, which may produce some significant changes to the testing environment, such as on requirement basis, risk based, defect severity basis, defect priority basis, etc. For example, when defining and preparing the test approach based on risk, it may include approach/method to consider the area of higher risks, for the execution under the testing phase, whereas that of lower risk may be taken up at a later stage.
- Model-based approach:Approach based on the some specific model, build up on some sort of statistical or mathematical value associated with the software product entity or its functionality, such as rate of failures, etc. Generally, it may be seen as a preventive approach, which should be initiated as soon as the model used in the SDLC is identified and selected, in the early stage of development life cycle.
- Methodological approach:This approach consists of all those methods which are pre-determined and pre-defined, to carry out the testing activity. The methods covered under this approach are used to test a software product from each different perspective and requirements, ranging from static analysis of the programming code to dynamic testing of the application.
- Standard Compliant approach:As the name suggests, the approaches are based on some specific regulation, guidelines or industry standards such as IEEE 829 standard. The testing activities covered under this approach like designing and creation of test cases follows and adheres to the given specified standards.
- Dynamic or Heuristic approach:The approach involves heuristic testing types such as exploratory testing, where tests are designed, created and executed as per the current scenario and is not pre-planned like in other approaches. Basically, it is a reactive test approach which carries out the simultaneous execution and evaluation of the test cases.
- Consultative Approach:This approach is based on the recommendation and suggestion given by the experts or other professional from the business or the technical domain outside the boundary of the organization, which may include end users also.
- Regression averse approach:It includes preparation of approach based on the usage of existing test material and automation of regression test suites.
Points to remember
Before adopting and implementing the test approach, following points may be considered, to ensure the selection of best suitable test approach for the testing process.
- Risk associated with the software product and its intended environment.
- What is the level of expertise and experienced in using the specified or selected method by the engaged testing professionals.
- Nature of the software product and its domain of working.
A test approach defines the way, a testing process needs to be carried out to ensure the successful testing of a software product. Thus, the selection of best suitable test approach may ensure triumph in carrying out the efficient and effective testing process with in the less cost and time.