7 Best Practices of Successful Testing Projects

Recent security breaches at big companies like Target has put the spotlight on security testing. Enhancing security is a key business goal – 65% of organizations now recognize the importance of QA and testing in catching bugs early and are allocating a large share of their overall IT spend to testing – 31% in 2016, estimated to grow to 40% by 2019. ‘

Best Practices of Successful Testing Projects

Best Practices of Successful Testing Projects

Software testing teams need to innovate to sustain relevance in a digital world. Introduction of DevOps and Agile development are also pushing the boundaries of testing. Read our seven best practices for a surefire way to successful software testing:

  1. Develop robust security testing: Cloud-based testing has slowed due to security concerns. This is because public clouds share resources across organizations, and virtualization creates many vulnerabilities. The best way to overcome this is to establish adequate controls, securing the test environment. Security testing is a niche skill and companies need to hire experts in this area. Furthermore, companies need to complete static analysis and fix configuration issues before deployment.
  2. Truly shift left: Shift left means that the testing team is in the game from the beginning. Collaboration between developers and testers increases the possibility of catching bugs early. This in turn reduces defects, improves quality while decreasing cost of quality.
  3. Environment allocation: Nothing can stall a testing project like non-availability or incompatibility of the testing environment. Ensure environment availability along with the appropriate release notes of each deployment. These effectively communicate changes and establish expectations. Unit test results and the report on defects are also critical to a testing team’s success.
  4. Exploratory testing: Use creative methods to find defects from an end-user perspective. Conduct session-based testing with a team of two testers focused on specific areas with high defects. This allows testers to use scenarios that might not be possible with scripted test cases.
  5. Understand the needs: Customize your testing solution for each project need. It is good to have both functional and automation testers as part of the team. The ideal mix is to have people with performance testing skills on LoadRunner and Jmeter. Additional skills such as UFT, HP ALM and other open source tools like Selenium are always handy.
  6. Create a target operating model: Create a thorough project plan that includes the defined processes, methods, tools, communication, and RACI matrix. It ensures that every team member is aware of the project goals and responsibilities. The target operating model will serve as the entry criteria for any new team member and will ensure all the resources are working towards a common objective.
  7. Onsite-Offshore mix: A highly efficient testing team is able to complete projects well within timelines. Modify your staffing structure based on the user’s location. If a project requires continuous interaction with business, increase your onsite team. Strengthen your offshore team if the interaction is limited. This approach not only saves cost but also helps deliver on timelines.

Apart from these, invest in continuous training of staff to keep up with the latest technology. Accurate project cost and schedule estimation will help keep testing on track with changes in project deliverable. Digital transformation will rule the roost and software testing has to be on a war footing. Implementing these seven best practices can make the difference between success and failure.

Shyam Ramanathan

Director of Software Quality Assurance, North America Delivery Head, Virtusa. Shyam has been working in the Quality Assurance world for over 15 years, where he has developed a breadth of knowledge and experience in test management, planning, design, execution, and establishing global delivery teams across geographies and building test Center of Excellence. Experienced Leader in QA/testing services and successfully executed many large engagements. Shyam has focused on the Insurance industry, his clients include Fortune 500 companies. His responsibilities range from business development, project management, program management, QA management, relationship management and partner strategies to technical oversight and delivering creative solutions. He has also a PMP, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Associate In General Insurance and Associate in Commercial Underwriting certifications. He has run 5 half marathons and one 25k run. He is an avid blogger and loves reading business books. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from University of Madras in India.

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