How To Choose a Software Testing a Methodology

Feb 13, 2023 | Test Automation Insights

Software testing is an essential step in ensuring the quality and functionality of a piece of software. There are various methodologies that engineers, developers, and QA testers can use to thoroughly examine the application in order to ensure it operates as planned and up to standard.

The strategies used can vary depending on the testing stage and the primary objective of the testing process. For this reason, there’s more than one software testing methodology.

What Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Type of Software Testing Strategies

Choosing the right testing method for your software is a delicate balance between the current state of your software, as well as the results you’re hoping to achieve through it.

Software testing isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and there are multiple factors that you should take into consideration when looking for the right software testing strategy, such as:

1. The Time and Budget You Have for Testing

The testing methodology you adopt should be in accordance with the resources you have available for the project. On average, software testing can take anywhere from three to six weeks, depending both on the complexity of the software itself and the involvement and depth of the testing method used.

As for budget, software development projects tend to allocate anywhere from 15% to 25% of the total development cost toward quality testing and assurance. Similarly, this depends on the complexity of the software and the testing strategy.

2. The Software Product Development Models

There are various processes and strategies that go into the development of software that limits the type of testing approaches you can adopt. Those models tend to be selected based on the goals and aims of the software project, and how the entire development process is planned to go.

The type of product development model used for the software greatly impacts the testing method that can be used later on. Whether it’s an agile model, V-model, or spiral model, it can influence when, what, and where the testing is conducted. 

3. Software Project Test Objective

While the overarching purpose of software testing is to ensure the software is as bug-free as possible and functions as intended and up to standard, some tests focus on specific sub objectives. Looking for faults and defects in the source code that may have been created early on during the development stages requires a different testing approach than testing the user experience and interface of the software.

On the other hand, performance testing, load testing, and stress testing approaches are more concerned with making sure the application meets the business requirements. It’s not searching for any bugs or gaps in the software’s security but ensuring there are enough guarantees and redundancies set in place to minimize the occurrence of a software crash or error message.

4. Industry-Specific Regulations

Industry-specific regulations are a set of criteria that your software must be able to meet before it’s allowed to participate in the market. They’re put in place to ensure the product meets standard functionality, operation, and security requirements.

Depending on the industry, such testing must be conducted and passed regularly in order to renew your permit or certification. For example, the ISO-IEC 25000:2005, GDPR, and HIPAA are a few of the most common regulations that digital products must constantly prove that they abide by to avoid penalties and losing their license.

Those tend to be more strict in high-sensitivity industries such as healthcare, financial services, and user data-reliant products like social media applications.

5. Possible Defects

Defect testing is a type of exploratory software testing that’s used to learn the landscape of the software in-depth and test its design. Late-stage defects can be harder to detect and require intensive testing to locate, especially compared to other errors or faults in the system.

Unlike bugs, defects are considered to be flaws in the software that can inhibit its functionality, value, and usability. Bugs, on the other hand, are errors or mistakes in the software’s code that may cause it to malfunction. Also, defects tend to be discovered early on in the process by software developers, while bugs are more likely to be detected by quality testers.

6. How Much Training is Involved

Software testing requires an entirely different skill set than software development. When the testing is conducted by internal staff members or the software developers themselves, it’s important to take into consideration the amount of time it’d take them to train in various software testing methodologies and tools.

However, for more complex projects, it’s best to rely on a Certified Software Tester (CSTE) which is a certification that generally requires a bachelor’s degree with two years of hands-on software testing experience or six consecutive years without a degree. For smaller teams, it may be more beneficial to consider outsourcing the software testing process to more experienced service providers and professionals.

7. Client and Business Requirements

If your team is developing a piece of software for a client or to serve a particular need of the business, the testing process would need to cater to their unique needs and requirements, rather than what the developers see fit. A Customer-Oriented Approach to Testing (COAT) is a software testing methodology that shifts the QA requirements to the client’s Point of View (PoV).

With COAT, a back-and-forth approach to software testing is needed to ensure the testing team is taking the software in the right direction. This ensures that the final product is not only functional and bug-free, but also aligned with the requirements set by the clients or parent company.

Examples of Common Testing Approaches

There are countless strategies that can be adopted for software testing depending on the factors mentioned above. A few of the approaches commonly used in the software’s testing phase are:

Waterfall Methodologies

The waterfall software testing methodology is when the various tests are performed in a sequential process rather than simultaneously. The reason behind the name is that it flows in a downward motion across the phases of the software development process and not just at the end starting from market analysis and design and throughout the development phase.

Waterfall testing is oftentimes conducted by the software development team themselves as part of the development process. This approach is more commonly used in multi-level enterprise-grade applications and software, such as Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, and retail Point of Sale (PoS) systems.

Agile Methodologies

Agile software testing is continuous and starts at the earliest stages of software development. A new test is conducted at the addition of every new feature to ensure it works properly and doesn’t interfere negatively with any previous functionality. Agile testing can still be used before rolling out updates. This gives developers the chance to incorporate user feedback into the implementation of new features and capabilities.

Agile methodology software is, however, not performed by the software development team but by dedicated testing teams in direct contact with the users. It’s usually done in four stages: impact assessment, test planning, release readiness, and daily scrums.

Validation Testing

Validation testing focuses on QA, making sure that the software matches the needs and requirements of the clients and shareholders. The primary goal isn’t to scout for bugs or defects, but conducting security testing, usability testing, and non-functional testing to validate the integrity of the software product.

This method is also used in ensuring the software meets regulatory requirements and specifications set by governing bodies.

Why is Choosing the Right Testing Process Important?

Different software testing methodologies prioritize different elements and conduct more than one level of testing. Choosing the right testing methodology is important to ensure the final product meets the quality, performance, and functionality requirements set by the customers.

Also, while some testing strategies must be implemented in the earliest stages of software development, others are meant to test the final version of the product to ensure it adequately meets the privacy and security regulations mandated by local and international laws.

By understanding the various elements of each individual’s testing strategy, you’ll be able to plan ahead and work within your budget and time scope. Testing approaches that require the expertise of a dedicated testing team tend to be more costly than relying on your original software development team and their expertise in debugging and beta testing.

It’s also determined by the type of software you’re building. Multilayer software requires testing methodologies that scan the code and performance of the application at every step of the way, rather than all at once with the final product, like waterfall testing.

Trust the Best Software for Your Testing Needs

The right testing tool is just as important as the methodology used in software testing. Ranorex is one of the leading providers of test automation software in the industry. Ranorex Studio, our flagship product is trusted by software QA teams as well as software developers in reliably automating the rote testing process and detecting defects all whilst on a budget.

Sign up for a free demo and start using Ranorex’s robust automated testing tools.

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