4 Tips for creating effective test strategies

The main focus of software testing is to prevent issues from reaching end-users. To achieve that, smart test managers and testing teams employ several techniques to increase test coverage and avoid bugs slipping into production. Below are some simple yet effective practices to take into consideration for a solid test strategy.

Well structured test cases align with acceptance criteria

Structured Testing

Testing should be planned ahead, right along with software requirement analysis. As most Agile frameworks and methodologies advocate, the testing team should be involved in the requirement gathering phase as early as possible. This helps build context for the user experience as well as the core purpose of software or feature. 

Related: How to write functional test cases for thorough coverage

Probability/Impact Matrix

Take for example a new feature that allows users to upload a profile picture on a web application at the time of signup (optional, not mandatory) – the probability/impact matrix for this feature will look at:

  • impact on signup if the user doesn’t upload a profile picture
  • impact on signup in case the server returns an error on profile picture upload
  • impact on signup if the user uploads a non-standard size picture, etc. 

If any of these test scenarios result in a failed signup, the impact will be high. This impact then needs to be assessed for the probability of occurrence i.e. how likely is this scenario to occur. The more probable and high-impact a scenario is, the more test cases (negative and positive) should be developed around it. These areas are also prime candidates for exploratory testing in later test cycles. 

Sharing Test Cases With Development Teams

Related: What is a development team without QA?

Exploratory testing is essential to uncover hidden issues

Exploratory Testing

Related: Exploratory testing from a crowd tester’s point of view

All in all, the best way to improve quality during testing is to never become complacent with any particular method. Testing teams should continue to learn from each release and work on improving test coverage for the next one.

New call-to-action