A lot of attention is often paid to the cost of development in software, while testing and aspects related to testing tend to get ignored. The cost and time associated with software testing is often comparable and sometimes even more valuable to the time and costs that are associated with the development of software.
As the Digital Economy fuels the desire to outdo competition, several IT organizations are charting out methods to optimize software testing, enhance testing productivity, curb costs, and reduce work hours; all of which can produce a major positive impact on the business.
There are multiple ways of achieving testing optimization and cost reduction. I’ll throw light on a few of them such as:
- Most software defects detected during testing originate in the early analysis phase. Hence defects that are detected early are less expensive to fix
- Early phase testing can provide early indicators about the software fulfillment and quality and enhance the familiarity and knowledge that testers have regarding the software
- Domain Knowledge:
- Deploying a person with domain knowledge has multiple advantages. It automatically translates into greater productivity, and more value being added to the project and product by ensuring it meets the quality standards
- A person with domain knowledge is able to differentiate between any trivial and critical issues that might arise
- Resource Optimization:
- Allocation of resources in appropriate roles based on their talent can produce several benefits. As I mentioned above that testers with domain knowledge bring better and faster quality. Skilled automation testers create better test scripts
- Motivated testers produce superior results and efficient Test Managers help the testing teams to utilize their skills to effectively assess and report the quality of the software product
Efficient Testing Methods
- Removal of Test Case Redundancy:
- This reduces test cycle time, reduces hardware resources utilization and leads to faster validation
- Testers thus gain additional time that can be directed towards the completion of other testing activities, thereby increasing the quality of the product
- Effective Test Scenarios Selection:
- This reduces the risk of test case duplication, increases the quality of the product and curbs the test execution time
- Rapid Testing:
- Use of Rapid testing approaches such as Risk Based and Exploratory Testing in special cases like short testing window is necessary. Risk Based testing covers the most critical parts of a product resulting in good quality in a short period of time
- Rather than designing all tests in advance, explorers design and execute small, rapid experiments
- Controlling the Size of Regression Test Suite:
- Select a representative set of test cases from a test suite that provides the same coverage as the entire test suite
- A shorter test suite with the same coverage implies less execution time, less resource utilization, lower costs, while maintaining the same quality
- Automation is highly beneficial. Automated testing is faster, more reliable, reduces human and technical risks and lowers manpower costs
- Increased functional coverage with low test scripts maintenance makes tests readable to everyone so that they can be supported anywhere. It also makes tests compact ensuring a high abstraction level. It removes interface and tooling details making scripts implicit and configurable within the tool wherever possible, and defines test instructions top down providing structured tests
- Parallel execution of automated tests means high test coverage in less time. This method reveals defects faster and provides a push to production
- Reduce Lengthy Test Reporting / Switch to Simple but Frequent Test Reporting:
- Simple and frequent means less time spent to produce and read the report
- Simple and frequent reports give a better view over the quality of the product and help managers take quicker decisions
- Update Test Data and Test Environments:
- Updated test environments and Test Data equals relevant results, while reducing the number of test execution and resource utilization
- Outdated Test Data implies additional investment in time in order to remember how to produce it
Reduction/removal of the usage of unnecessary and expensive tools:
- Replace expensive tools with open source or less expensive options and remove the rarely used commercial tools which bring minuscule benefits
- Replace tools which are hard to use and tools that are hard to maintain
Each and all of the above can bring a major cost reduction in the software testing process.
If adopted, the methods described above, could visibly improve the performance of the test teams, boost the testing process and implicitly decrease the costs of the entire software development life cycle.
These techniques help ensure that a test team can deliver a complete test cycle, more efficiently: in less time and with a higher confidence that a quality product shall be launched successfully to the customers.