Innovative test design approach
A fish bone analysis reveals the causal factor of defects slipping into production. It stems from two critical phases in any SDLC – either during requirement analysis phase or whilst building the software application. It is only a comprehensive domain centric test design that can uncover such incidents.
The approach to test case creation has never been a topic of serious discussion in any project. So when does the test design or creation of test cases actually begin and how is it approached? We have determined that the quality of test design and the degree of the test design alignment with customer need is directly proportional to the manner in which this activity is approached.
This leads us to explore the factors on what determines test design to be of acceptable quality.
- As the underlying job of any test design is to uncover defects, coverage is an important criteria. With COTS products taking over bespoke applications, the business users are left holding product documents and user manuals. They need to retrofit their business requirements to the product specifications and come out with gap documents where applicable. This current trend of requirement discussion has in fact distributed business requirements across various documents like BRDs, Product Manuals and Gap documents making test case creation activity more challenging. In this scenario it becomes the responsibility of the SME to ensure comprehensive coverage of requirements in the test design.
- The other factor that determines test design quality is optimization. Most projects run on stringent timelines and with testing phase trailing the rest of the SDLC phases. There is a natural tendency to crunch this last phase and degree of compromise made can be quite high. In order to meet this inevitable challenge it has become very important that the test design is highly optimal while at the same time does not compromise on coverage. Optimization should not be misconstrued as reduction in test cases. Optimization focuses on critical business requirements and an intelligent inclusion of the rest so as to align to good coding practices.
So when does one commence this activity of test case creation? After the requirement freeze or post application development? It is suggested that the nascent stages of test case creation can start alongside requirement gathering & analysis phase and help verify the software even while it is being constructed. Studies show that bugs are injected early in the SDLC and therefore it is imperative that test design gets constructed alongside these phases for initial validation.
Attra’s test design accelerator aims to achieve the aforesaid with substantial effort-saving techniques. As a first step, a single framework that captures business requirements aligned to the software product/ application is created. This framework approach helps uncover implicit gaps during requirement gathering and analysis workshops. It decomposes high level business features into granular functional and non-functional requirements across key segments specific to domain and technology that is instrumental in ensuring the coverage aspect, thereby ensuring a straight plug and play in various SLDC methodologies like waterfall/agile/iterative etc. With our core financials domain experts/technology experts involved in applying optimization and business workflow logic on this framework, an optimal test design with maximum coverage is obtained along with benefits of reuse enabling productivity savings in the test design phases.
More features of the test design accelerator may be viewed through the link below,