Software QA: How To Plan For The Phases Of Software Testing And What To Expect
- Dec 15, 2016
How do you measure the quality of a finished piece of software? The simple answer is by its ability to meet the requirements laid out by its developers. To find out if your new software is meeting its requirements, you need to perform software QA testing during the development phase. Doing so ensures that the software is meeting specified requirements, which in turn increases customer confidence, as well as your organization’s credibility. It also serves to improve work processes and efficiency, enabling your business to best the competition.
Test Now, Benefit LaterSoftware QA testing does not assure quality — that's the job of the development team. That is, developers are responsible for the quality relationship with the customer; QA testing alerts the developers about risk. There are five essentials for software testing. If any one of them is missing or incomplete, your testing effort will likely fall short of what you might otherwise achieve.
How to Plan for Software QA Testing
- Testing Strategy: Unlike tests where the goal is to pass certain measurements, software QA testing is about finding defects. Test strategies are typically created at the midpoint of the design phase and tell you which types of testing are best to do, what order they should be performed in, and the amount of effort to put into them to find the worst defects.
- Testing Plan: Your testing plan details who will perform each task, the beginning and end points, and the length of time to be spent on testing. Details for this phase are dictated by your testing strategy, and both must be flexible as the project evolves.
- Test Cases: There are several ways to approach developing test cases, most of which should be prepared before you begin testing. Test cases should reflect what the expected results of the software are, otherwise there is no way to determine if a test will pass or fail. Design your test cases to make sure requirements are being met and defects are easily discovered.
- Test Data: Typically made up of names, addresses, product orders, and other pertinent information, test data development is usually done at the same time as test case development. Your database of information should be built to allow testing of query, change, and delete functions.
- Test Environment: An authentic staging environment is critical to being able to accurately determine how software will perform in production. While the environment can be a scaled-down version of the real thing, all components of the system should be as close as possible to what it will eventually be. Determining how to set up the environment should be a part of your testing plan and should be completed before QA testing begins.