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9 Best Practices for Successful Software Testing Projects

June 24, 2016

9 Best Practices for Successful Software Testing Projects

For every software testing projects, it is highly frustrating when,

- you’re about to wind up a sprint and you realize that the testers were testing features completely different than what the developers had developed.

- the team while trying to meet the deadline missed testing of the essential components.

Well, there is no denying that development cycles play an important role in any project, but proper test execution is vital or else you end up losing dollars and a huge amount of time. It is also essential to provide a realistic estimation and deliver precise test results for successful test automation projects and for this reason, it is important to follow certain pre-requisites and best practices.

Here are the 9 best practices to ensure accuracy and success in software testing projects.

1. Provide realistic estimation
It is important to set and provide a realistic estimation to clients for completion of the test cycle and the results thereafter. This is possible when you understand the components and the features to be tested. Unless you dig deeper into the application, you cannot provide accurate estimation and perform test execution, which results in failure of the entire test project.

2. Allocate proper time & resources
Another important thing is to allocate proper timing and resources to the test execution exercise or else you cannot achieve the desired test coverage and results. Since the release and deployment cycles are also dependent on the testing process, proper scheduling and timing also help in making it to the deadline.

3. Don’t overlook bug cycle
Bug cycle is an important part of test execution. In some cases, it happens that actual test cycle lasts a couple of more days than what was planned earlier. Therefore, it is crucial for the testing team to consider the fact that the test cycle heavily depends on the stability of the build. If the application or site is not stable or if it is full of errors, it will require more time to fix them, which at the end stretches the testing cycle.

4. Consider availability of resources
Software testing can be time consuming and lengthy process based on the application’s complexity. Hence, before you begin the testing process, it is important to consider the vacations or holidays planned by the resources, specifically, those who are going to take long leaves. This would help you create more realistic test estimation time. Also, the test estimation should reflect some fixed number of resources for a test cycle. If the number of estimation changes, in most cases it decreases, then the estimation should be reconsidered and refreshed according to the change.

5. Keep in mind the scope of the project
Also, you may have to consider different factors based on the project size. Typically, a large project will include setting up a test bed, generating test data, test scripts etc. Therefore, the test estimation should be based on such factors. On the other hand, a small projects’ test cycle includes test cases writing, execution and regression testing cycles which need to be kept in mind while performing tests and communicating the test time.

6. Conduct brainstorming
It is also advisable to spare some time for brainstorming for the actual test results and objects. While brainstorming for the test objects, it is important to keep the numbers realistic rather than assuming some unachievable numbers. Brainstorming will also help you identify and cover some unintentional delays during the testing phase while it helps you leverage from the maximum test coverage.

7. Check for parallel testing
If you’re performing software tests on some already tested software application, it is better to run parallel testing of the current version with the previous version to compare the output data. It will surely simplify your existing work overhead since some of them would be known or recurring errors. However, it is important that test estimation is done of the current version of the application.

8. Consider the time for load testing
Since load testing is a separate exercise altogether, the resources and time required for it are different than that required in the regular software testing process. Hence, it is important to consider time for manual load testing and assess the project outcome and deadline accordingly.

9. Know your team
This is also one of the most important things everyone should consider. It is crucial to know that all the resources may not have the same level of expertise or productivity level. So, plan the test process, keeping in mind your team’s strengths and weaknesses in order to get the most out of your test assets combination.

These best practices can be useful not only for all the test managers and QA experts to make their software testing project successful but also for the enterprises which are looking to increase their testing unit’s productivity.

What’s your take on this? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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