Software testing is not a mere process; it is a key tool to evaluate and enhance business value. While some tech experts associate it with quality assurance, it entails a wide array of functional and non-functional aspects. Ensuring product or software quality incorporates input from many stakeholders, while software testing primarily focuses on the quality of code and its performance.
Typically, testing and validation procedures account for 20 to 30 of the total development costs, say experts at McKinsey. Software testing methodologies largely vary from one business to another, given the type, size, and complexity of products, processes, and the paradigm involved. Simply put, software testing methodologies focus on testing whether an application, product, or software functions as expected or not.
Let’s dive in and see four software testing strategies that can help your business evaluate its software performance, eradicate underlying errors and create better value for customers.
When talking about software, the business value lies in how well an application or product performs. A combined study by Oxford University and McKinsey investigated large software projects and found that 66% of them exceed their budgets while 33% are up on schedule times, contributing to 17% of such projects that are threatening the company’s existence. This can be significantly taken down with extensive testing of business applications; before rolling out, after go-live, or even during maintenance phases.
Here are 4 powerful techniques that will help you create better business value, reach more customers, and develop a market presence that speaks for itself.
As a rule of thumb, the Waterfall software testing strategy is built on the sequential approach. It consists of testing different business modules in multiple stages like a top-down model, similar to a waterfall flowing progressively from top to bottom. This consolidated strategy allows software analysts to extensively test the functional performance and overall health of business products and applications. However, avoid the waterfall approach when working with dynamic, complex, or substantial project requirements.
While agile is not new, it is a proven and tested method used in software development from production to quality assurance. Based on the divide and conquer rule, it breaks down a process into smaller partitions that can be iterated over quickly, making the product available for testing. Agile software testing strategy can be incorporated as per your requirements, in the design, development, integration, or maintenance. Agile works best when you have minimal resource requirements or working with limited resources or budget.
Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a software testing methodology built to support the simultaneous development of multiple software components. Building on the iterative model, it offers another variant of the agile-based approach with a focus on creating Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) or a functional prototype based on user requirements. The prototype is later used in the testing phase to incorporate features and functionality using customer feedback.
The verification and validation methodology, or simply the V model, is an extended version of the Waterfall strategy discussed earlier. Instead of a top-down method, this utilizes a V-shaped workflow where each phase of the software development corresponds to an identical testing phase. As soon as all the requirements are available, you perform requirements verification, and code development followed by the validation phase.
Picking the right technique to test your business application entirely depends on your project, its timeline, flexibility, and expected outcome. You might want to adopt the Waterfall method when your project requirements are clear and fixed, and conversely, the agile testing methodology when your product requirements are either motivated by user feedback or given flexible timelines. You may either opt for a hybrid approach to testing, combining the conventional methods with advanced models to accelerate testing across business processes, generating greater value in the long run.
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