Innovation in Testing

September 12, 2014

Removing Redundancy From Every Angle

Duplicating a job that has already been done is not something anyone wants to do, and particularly not when testing software. However, duplication, known in this instance as redundancy, is something that is a big issue in the testing arena, costing businesses large amounts of wasted money, time and resource.

Traditionally, exploratory testing methods are unstructured and dimensionless, taking more time and effort than needed, and resulting in duplication, incomplete coverage and difficulties in defect management (identification, analysis and resolution). As logic of test design and scope are not well-documented it is difficult to share the knowledge gained during the testing process.

For these reasons, traditional exploratory testing is considered to be a poor long-term investment for many organisations. However, if implemented correctly, exploratory testing can provide considerably wider coverage and reveal different levels of product quality.

To address this issue, Brickendon consultants have analysed, adapted and customised a testing solution devised by James A Whittaker in a bid to address these issues and make testing a more complete and rounded process.

The Brickendon Exploratory Testing Solution (BETS) is a 360 degree testing programme, made up of six different sections (the names are as given by Whittaker):

Landmark Testing is driven by the identification of landmarks or mission critical functions of the application, such as trade execution or client selection, and is aimed at exposing the defects in the most important and frequently used business cases. It focuses the testing on landmarks or critical functionalities of the application outlined by the project management or business team. The results give an assurance for day-to-day business cases.

FedEx Testing is an input-driven testing method, which focusses on a specialised set of trade/application data inputs. The methodology checks how they flow through the system, and how they appear as an output. This type of testing exposes the defects that are specific to certain trade/data input flavours. The results provide an assurance for solid test coverage.

Intellectual Tour Testing is driven by edge case scenarios and focuses completely on breaking the system with negative and extreme test inputs. The aim is to expose the breaking points and push the boundaries of the system, with the results giving an assurance for a solid and durable application.

Scottish Pub Testing is driven by developers and focusses on their areas of concern. It ensures a new dimension to testing and exposes the defects which are outside the thought range of the testing team. The results of this testing will avoid any surprises and will help the development team achieve the best quality application.

Bad Neighbourhood Testing is based on statistics. It focuses on the areas which have historically been very weak and more prone to bugs.

Lonely Businessman Testing focuses on testing the areas which are usually given low priority. Defects in these areas can sometimes prove very costly as the impact of a problem is not always fully realised until it has occurred. As a result, this type of testing is essential and ensures robust testing.

During the course of the testing process, all results – both positive and negative – should be recorded in the test/defect tool, enabling the outcome to be easily returned to, examined, and learnt from, at a later date.

This solution is not a replacement for structured formal testing, rather a complementary process that provides a completely different dimension to testing that is not addressed in formal testing.

BETS is an innovative solution, which removes the risk of redundancy and ensures thorough test coverage without the added risk of extra costs and time. By partnering with all people involved in the IT chain, from developers right through to business analysts, production support and project managers, the quality of the testing is elevated to the highest level.

Most importantly, the detailed documentation of test results and problems enables efficient defect analysis and fixing, which can be used as lessons for future cases and serve as a long-term investment for the organisation.

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