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Thursday, December 2, 2010

What comprises Test Ware Development : Test Strategy

Test ware development is the key role of the testing team. Test ware comprises of:

Test Strategy

Before starting any testing activities, the team lead will have to think a lot and arrive at a strategy. This will describe the approach, which is to be adopted for carrying out test activities including the planning activities. This is a formal document and the very first document regarding the testing area and is prepared at a very early stage in software development life cycle. This document must provide generic test approach as well as specific details regarding the project.

The following areas are addressed in the test strategy document:
- Test Levels: The test strategy must talk about what are the test levels that will be carried out for that particular project. Unit, Integration and system testing will be carried out in all projects. But many times, integration and system testing may be combined.

- Roles and Responsibilities: The roles and responsibilities of test leader, individual testers, project manager are to be clearly defined at a project level. the review and approval mechanism must be stated here for test plans and other test documents. Also, we have to state who reviews the test cases, test records and who approved them.The documents may go through a series of reviews or multiple approvals and all these are mentioned in this section.

- Testing tools: Any testing tools which are to be used in different test levels must be clearly identified. This includes justifications for the tools being used in that particular level also.

- Risks and Mitigation: Any risks that will affect the testing process must be listed along with the mitigation. By documenting the risks in this document, we can anticipate the occurrence of it well ahead of time and then we can proactively prevent it from occurring. Sample risks are dependency of completion of coding, which is done by sub-contractors, capability of testing tools etc.

- Regression Test Approach: When a particular problem is identified, the programs will be debugged and the fix will be done to the program. To make sure that the fix works, the program will be tested again for that criteria. Regression test will make sure that one fix does not create some other problems in that program or in any other interface. So, a set of related test cases may have to be repeated again, to make sure that nothing else is affected by a particular fix. how this is going to be carried out is elaborated in this section.

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