Tips for Scaling Testing to Meet Your Budget Needs
Aka, ‘Setting Priorities for Test Execution’
Critical to any form of testing is planning how many tests the team are going to execute within the time scheduled, because it goes without saying that you need to make the most of the time available through efficiency.
How can you increase testing coverage? How can you determine the most important functions of the application to test? By prioritising test cases based upon their impact to the application’s function and by which functions are critical to end users.
Priority is key; start by executing the critical tests first, then those of high importance, and end with as many low priority tests as is feasible within the time set out.
Determining Test Priority – at a glance
- Search through customer support cases and defects to find those areas of the application which fail or break most often, or are used by customers the most
- Define each application function, then group the common functions together
- Determine the priority of each function for each group, and on the whole
- Work through the application from front end User Interface (UI) workflows to the back-end processing functions
(Another) Top Tip
Smoke test suites are often considered crucial when testing general functionality.
Planning Test Execution by Priority – at a glance
- Now that your priorities are set, you must organise any existing test cases into those same groupings
- Plan how many tests you have that are: critical, high, low priority
- Balance this number against the testing time schedule to determine how many tests can be executed and how you should split the execution
- If the split is unclear, consider continuous regression testing so that suites of tests arranged by priority are executed throughout development and release
Testing by priority ensures that test execution is efficient and practical, whilst still adhering to the release schedule. Prioritisation also provides increased test coverage without an extension of the time needed.
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