Reducing Scope – the Amount of Software Testing


Our example used at TASSQ and in our a More Detailed look at Service Plan Costing we used a fix number of test cases (50,000). At the TASSQ event, many immediately wanted to discuss ways to reduce the number of test cases. This is just as important an aspect as streamlining the test process once this is done. Due to time constraints, I decided to leave it till now. But, what kind of things can be done to reduce the sheer scope of testing needed?

This is too long for a single post, but over the next few weeks, I will build it out each area. Looking at high level areas to focus at though, we have 4 key areas to focus on

  1. SDLC Strategies
  2. Test Iteration Strategies
  3. Test Cycle Strategies
  4. Maintenance Strategies

1. SDLC Strategies

What is your corporate mandate? Is these a free internet service, that is best effort, or do errors have potentially huge financial risks? How long is this software expected to be in use (next release), and how mission critical is it to your business? The way we approach testing should reflect our business needs.

The second aspect is more architectural. I have already posted one post on API Versioning Strategies. How the service and the client are designed and managed in the SDLC, can greatly impact the amount of testing needed.

2. Test Iteration Strategies

This looks at way to reduce the number or effort required in each test Iteration. Can you share the same test case for Functional and Performance Testing? How can you ensure that development did fix the issues in the last release? Do you really need to retest code that was not changed?

Strategies here vary a great deal depending on if you using AGILE or Waterfall or some other Development methodology.

3. Test Cycle Strategies

This area looks at way to reduce the number and the complexity of doing individual test. A lot of this has to do with desired percentage coverage, but automation, data sources and regression are all aspects.

4. Maintenance Strategies

Far to often we focus on getting the software into production, yet its generally accepted that testing during the maintenance cycle can be well over half the testing costs. This is about, automation,  regression and continual testing strategies that can reduce the maintenance testing costs or coverage.

I cant poll the audience here, but as usual, we share and learn. So please if you have thoughts or suggestions on the subject of reducing the amount of testing required, please let me know.



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