How to Create a Winning Strategy for Software Product Testing?

Software Product Testing

You might have come across an app or software that promised stars and skies, but when you finally used it, you could not accomplish even the most basic of tasks. Then you are also used to using hundreds of apps and software, regularly, that deliver what they promise – flawlessly, consistently, securely, and efficiently.

When you decide to outsource your QA needs, you want the best software product testing services to ensure that your software products are flawless, efficient, and secure. Quality Assurance and Testing are as critical and time-consuming processes as designing and coding.
Outsourced software product testing augment your competencies by offering you services cost-effectively, which would otherwise cost you a lot more. QA service providers are geared towards testing your software products – mobiles apps, web applications, cloud & desktop applications.

Outsourced software product testing augments your competencies by offering you services cost-effectively, which would otherwise cost you a lot more. QA service providers are geared towards testing your software products – mobiles apps, web applications, cloud & desktop applications.

Establish a Robust Testing Process for a Software Product

Before the QA service provider starts testing your software products, you must ensure that they have robust testing processes in place. At the minimum it should touch on the following aspects:

  • Minimum and preferred system configuration
  • Functional requirements
  • Non-functional requirements
  • Test approach
  • Defect reporting and resolution processes
  • Escalation chain
  • Tools to be used
  • Source and output documentation
  • Requirements for test environment
  • Identification of risks and dependencies
  • Preparing test schedule
  • Entry, suspension, & exit criteria

Why Should Every Product Development Process Have a Test Plan?

Planning means to look ahead and to visualize what no one else could. Best laid plans are those that can foresee problems and troubles and prepare for them. Therefore, you must ensure beforehand your software product would be robust and meet business needs.

Testing Policies

The testing policy of an organization describes the approach taken at the highest level in system design and planning towards QA, and System & Software Testing. The testing policy defines the policy objectives, the accruable tangible benefits, key performance indicators to look out for, quality targets to achieve, and a comprehensive approach.

Test Scope

A test scope clearly defines the boundaries delineating the processes, functions, and data that are to be tested and that cannot be tested. It can pertain to any of the testing phases including system, modules, integration, unit, load, or user-acceptance testing.

With a well-defined test scope in hand, the software product testing service provider can guide its teams through the entire journey of testing and QA. This specifically helps in reducing risks, setting accountability, and delivering a great software product.

Objectives and Critical Areas to Test

Software testing may serve different goals depending on testing policies and scope. Some key objectives are:

  • Find software design and coding defects
  • Gain confidence in the quality of the software product
  • Truthfully and confidently make claims regarding software’s quality
  • Prevent bugs from compromising clients’ data and users’ privacy
  • To ensure that all business and user requirements are met
  • Gain customer loyalty by delivering a quality product

Product Risks

Most risks to the software product come because it cannot meet the requirements of the users, clients, and other stakeholders. Essentially product risk is a quality risk, that emanates from poor QA and faulty testing.

  • Skips key processes
  • The product is unreliable and often fails to load or deliver results
  • The data integrity, security, privacy, or consistency are in jeopardy
  • Not easy to follow, use, and does not improve satisfaction among users

Resource Considerations and Constraints

The senior management in every organization is keen on getting the software product thoroughly tested. However, product development managers do not have enough resources – engineers, time, and budgets – for an independent testing team. The software product development cycles are way too shorter than they used to be – from up to 24 months to only 6 months.

Testability of Test Items

Testability is the degree to which a system, its modules, or subsystems can be independently qualified as satisfactory. A high level of testability means that one can easily test and isolate individual components with bugs and repair them. A high degree of testability is always desirable.

Parameters to be Considered While Making a Test Plan

A test plan is your roadmap to guide test engineers in doing their job.

Examine the Software Product

To prepare the test plan for a software product, you need to examine it thoroughly. You should access and use the software from all aspects such as multiple user roles. Studying the SRS document helps to understand what is expected from the system.

Create a Test Strategy

A test strategy details the objectives, scope, criteria, resources, and environment for carrying out testing. It will help you plan the test schedules and cost estimations – both integral to the overall product cost and time-to-market. It helps you identify the correct units for testing and avoid wasting time.

Create a List of Test Objectives

With clearly defined objectives for testing, you can guide your test engineers on the right path. Objectives align the testing goals to the overall system goals. A clear delimitation as “within scope” and “out of scope” can help save time, effort, and costs.

Specify the Test Criteria

Testing criteria are the benchmark that you need to achieve before you can qualify a software product as satisfactorily ready. By defining the testing standards beforehand, you eliminate any chances of bias, giving your development team a fair chance to deliver a product with minimal defects.

Organizing Resources

Even the simplest of test plans require resource allocation – testing engineers, time for quality tests, and associated costs. For more complex and integrated software products, product managers need to allocate a larger chunk of their resources for testing. If you are working in a highly competitive industry, then resource allocation can be challenging.

Construct a Test Environment

A test environment is a combination of hardware, software, and IT, mimicking real-world conditions. Simulating the real-world conditions in the test environment is very important – especially for UI/UX testing and user-acceptance testing.

Estimation and Schedule

Finally, with a test strategy and test plan in place, you can prepare a schedule and cost estimate for the entire testing exercise. You must identify the tasks that can be carried out in parallel as well as that are dependent on some other tasks to complete. Important factors like project deadlines, employee schedules, budget, and anticipated failure rates need consideration.

Software Product Testing

 Major Software Product Testing Models

1. Agile Methodology

Agile Testing follows agile development rules and principles with continuous emphasis on testing since the inception of any project. Agile software development and agile testing techniques are, in effect inseparable.

2. Waterfall Model

The process of testing begins after the software development has been completed and submitted for QA. There is a clear delineation between the design, implementation, testing, and deployment phases. If during testing, bugs are identified, all issues are compiled and then reported to the development team in a comprehensive document.

3. V-Type Model

In the V-model of SDLC processes are executed sequentially in V-shape. Testing is associated directly with each stage of the software development life cycle. The design and development follow the waterfall SDLC model, while the testing is done continuously.

Types of Software Product Testing

Of the more than 150 types of testing types, let us focus on the seven major testing needs for a software product.

1. Functional Testing

Functional testing does not test the implementation details of a software product. It is a kind of black-box testing, where the focus is solely on assessing outputs produced by providing different inputs to the system.

2. Non-Functional Testing

A separate team carries out non-functional testing to check if the system meets non-functional requirements – such as performance, security, backup & recovery, etc. Usually, it is carried out by an independent team for unbiased reporting.

3. Unit Testing

Individual software units – components, subroutines, modules, etc. – must be tested for code design, input & output, security lapses, and performance bottlenecks. As these units are reusable components, any bug or lacuna can affect many parts of the system.

4. Integration Testing

Once individual units have been tested, they are integrated to form larger subsystems. A unit may function perfectly independently, how it will work when integrated with other units, is still unknown. Integration testing is the process of testing such integrated modules and validate their combined functionality.

5. Acceptance Testing

Acceptance Testing (or User-Acceptance Testing) is an observation made by the QA engineers while the end-users use the system. The end-users of the client verify if:

  • the workflow of the system meets their requirements,
  • it is easy to navigate,
  • one can easily search data or functions, and
  • what is the response time?

6. Performance Testing

Performance testing is a metric that quantifies the performance of the system in action. The system load is tested in real-time after delivery to the client. The resources are monitored for the number of requests, queries, page faults, and disk accesses to see how the system is performing with normal loads.

7. Load Testing

Another non-functional testing type, load testing checks the turnaround time, throughput, and response time of a system under duress. It checks how much maximum workload the system can bear without any serious degradation of performance. This is done with different system configurations for network bandwidth, database servers, memory, processor, and settings.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Software Testing Strategy

Choosing a good testing strategy can help you avoid many product failures and establish you as a serious player. On the other hand, a poor testing strategy is fraught with many risks.

1. Risks to the Project

Before finalizing and adopting a testing strategy – like to conduct testing in-house or outsource; or outsource it onshore or offshore – you must weigh the benefits against the risks. Inhouse or onshore testing can cause delays or cost overruns. As mentioned earlier, both are unacceptable in a market with cut-throat competition and wafer-thin margins.

2. Objectives of the Product

The testing team must be experienced enough to assess the objectives of the product – as not everything can be documented and verbally conveyed. A team with experience in software product testing of every size and scale would be better equipped to deal with complex projects. They can complete the testing of simpler projects in a jiffy, with great savings in time and costs.

3. Discourage Passing the Buck

A responsible team takes ownership and does not pass the buck. The testing team should be able to take ownership of the project, once it is with them and work in close coordination with software design and development teams to get the issues resolved and bugs fixed. They must make constructive suggestions to help resolve issues in the least possible time, with the best possible outcomes.

Pratham as your Software Product Testing Partner

Finding a great offshore software product testing partner is not a challenge anymore. Pratham Software India (PSI) is a leading India-based IT services company with a legacy of 21 years. We are serving global clients for the better part of our life, in the software product development and software product testing services space.

Our services portfolio includes Testing as A Service, Quality Assurance, Quality Engineering, for software products and solutions of all sizes, complexities, and domains. Our team is a blend of experience and fresh blood giving PSI a unique advantage cherished by its clients.

PSI has perfected the offshore business delivery model to help clients in their one-off or continuing software product testing service needs.

Book a consultation today with our expert QA engineers to cost-effectively get help from the best talent.

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