Testing Methodologies

There is three-step approach to testing software.

  1. Test Strategy
  2. Test Planning
  3. Test Execution
Test Strategy
A product's test strategy ties the product's release and sign-off criteria to its business objectives.
In order to take key dependencies into account, test planning, testcase design, test automation or manual and test execution are aligned with the development schedule. Meaningful test scheduling requires a clear understanding and sequencing for:
• Completion of low- and high-level specifications;
• Code-complete (coding for everything but bug-fixes stops);
• Completion of component unit-testing
• UI-freeze
Identifying key trade-offs is essential, for it is impossible to test all scenarios, cover the full configuration matrix, and automate all test cases, while remaining within the practical limits of time and budget. Identify the features, components, sub-components, and items to be tested and the range of tests to be carried out.

Test Planning
The next step is Test Planning, which defines the approach for testing and a clear understanding of the project and its deliverables. Exhaustive analysis ensures no mismatch of requirements. All relevant products interface, component, and other external dependencies are identified and the timeframe for delivering the results is computed. The resulting plan is presented in industry-standard format to the customer; further steps are not taken without customer acceptance.
Here are the key steps for Test Planning:
• Define release criteria (with the release manager)
• Outline and prioritize the testing effort.
• Chart test automation requirements
• Identify resource requirements at various stages of testing
• Set up calendar-based activity plan
• State reporting mechanism & establish communication model
• Configure team including number, type, and seniority of resources and length of time required, mapped each resource onto the activity plan.

Test Execution
Execution of the test plan begins with fulfillment of test-start criteria, and ends with the fulfillment of test-complete criteria. Intermediary steps are:
• Prepare comprehensive test plan specifications and test cases for each level of testing.
• Review all test plans and test cases
• Prepare test data and test logs.
• Set up the test environment so that all operations can be completed promptly, accurately, and efficiently.
• Execute Error/Trap tests to ensure testers accuracy.
• Execute tests as described, noting where test cases require revision and updating.
• Report all bugs in the manner agreed upon with the customer, following all defect management protocols, informing customer of current status, monitoring and driving to resolution all red-flag conditions, and ensuring that communication between all parties is complete and accurate.
• Run spot checks to ensure quality.
• When the project has been completed, review all aspects of the project and submit a Project Retrospective report to the customer that objectively evaluates the project's execution


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