In today’s world, every organization has moved to software after keeping off the manual work almost in every business sector such as healthcare industry, banking, finance, insurance and manufacturing, etc. Building a new software from scratch incurs one time cost that could be wearable by the organization but support and maintenance cost are other recurring cost that every organization has to keep in mind while moving the manual work to using the software tool. Often it is seen that many organization cut down the annual operation cost which may challenge the operation quality and efficiency of the software. When there are budgets cuts, the team size gets reduced which does not just include developers but also QA. In the scenario, where team size is less and production release cycle is small the entire burden comes on the Quality Analyst team to ensure the software quality for the coming production release where team size is small and timelines are tight.
Under such circumstances “is QA getting the most value out of its test cases?” Well, in other words does the QA team have the ample resources with required application testing capacity who can do the ample testing in the small sprint of agile to ensure the software quality after the current software product release? Here, we have to deal with the testing effort optimization with the maximum testability to ensure the quality of the software product.
Test Cases Reusability:
One of the solution is to write the test cases in such a way that once written, they can be used over and over not only for the same application but for the multiple applications that belong to the same organization. Therefore, the initial effort of writing the concrete test case will save lots of time and future efforts for the testers.How this is helpful, let’s understand this with the help of a practical example. A banking organization has number of businesses such as retail banking, commercial banking, credit cards, etc. and we know since we are dealing with a bank we need an extreme security mechanism to ensure that the hacker and imposters are away from stealing money online. Here, we can note that all of these banking applications have a common need i.e. security testing which belongs to a same organization. Therefore, the security testing test cases written for retail banking application can be reused for the commercial banking and credit card application as well for the same organization. Thus, we have saved a lots of effort of the testers and money for the test case writing effort without compromising the software quality.
Test Case Automation:
As the testing industry has advanced, most of the organizations has moved to automation which is proving an asset for the testing team when it comes to regression and the testing knowledge base for the software application. We know that the application release are of very short cycle and reoccurring. The fix or change that the development team has put for the current release are not going to break anything in existing application’s functionality can be ensured with the automation effort. The test suite can be executed overnight which can be reviewed by the QA team next working day, so that they can outline the bug or defect report to the development team. Imagine, if such a procedure demands the manual testing effort then it would be nightmare for the testing team to complete the testing on time ensuring the quality of the release.
Session Based Exploratory Testing:
Exploratory testing is the short cut to achieve the quick testing results but this procedure has its own limitations. It requires the tester who has very sound knowledge of the software application and capable of hunting bugs at the right location based on his or her application testing knowledge. However,such testers may spend their effort and may end up in finding or not finding the bugs. Therefore, in order to showcase their effort to the project management and testing team newbies, the Session based ET is often recommended. This type of testing has brought a new concept where the exploratory testing has become auditable as well as measurable on a broader scale with the use of tools that can capture the screen or video recording tools that record the entire exploratory testing sessions. Such recordings are always ready to use for training, monitoring and quality assurance purposes especially, for the newbie testers who join the testing team.
Avoid Testing Redundancy:
Many organizations are the victims of losing lots of project budget money due to inappropriate testing practices. Often, it is observed that two or more testers are exploring or testing the same project module at the same time, the person who is expert is wring test cases is working on automation scripts, a manual tester is writing the test cases, etc. are other cases where mapping of the skill to work experience is inappropriate. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the QA manager to allocate the correct testing resource on the appropriate project task and make sure there is no effort redundancy. In other words, no two or more testing resources should work on the same task at a time.
Test Cases Optimization:
The test cases written for an application should be reusable as well as optimized. Duplicate test cases will double the testing effort with no extra benefit to the software quality. Covering all the important areas with less number of test cases should be the goal.
Over to you:
With the increase in the number of software applications within an organization, the cut in operation cost of these software are inevitable. Therefore, the organizations are looking for the procedures where the test cases could be optimized and become reusable for the other applications as well. Moreover, these test cases could be automated to avoid the unnecessary manual testing effort, the QA team can shift their focus towards the session based exploratory testing in order to yield the best testing output under tough release deadlines. If all of these procedures are put into practice then an organization is definitely to save lots of money for their QA procedures without compromising the software quality and then QA would definitely to get the most value out of their test cases.