There are many different ways to look at software testing, and there are various challenges you may face. From my experience as a QA tester, I’ve seen these 5 stages that can help those tasked with software application testing. Make sure you consider these phases so you don’t fall into the QA testing traps many before you have experienced.
You cannot possibly start your first System Testing cycle until the testing environment is set up and ready to go. It is critical to ensure that the application you are about to test is installed and configured in accordance with the client’s requirements. You should also make sure there is a set of data you can use in your testing prepared for you by a subject matter expert. This will save you a lot of time when you start writing your test scripts.
Requirements are critical in any testing, whether it is unit, regression, system or user acceptance testing. The requirements are usually gathered during multiple workshops, documented and must be accepted by a client. These are the guidelines used by a solution architect and developers, and lack of properly documented requirements can be a recipe for a failed project. As a tester, you need to make sure you understand each one. Ask many questions – no question is a stupid question when it comes to system testing. The project success depends on you understating the requirements so they can be properly tested! Also, set up the right expectations: call out what will, and what will not be tested.
Once you understand the requirements, you can start writing test scripts. The test scripts cannot be vague; rather, they need to be as detailed as possible, so anybody can run them. It may seem, as if you are repeating yourself when you write them, and the steps are redundant, but again, the more details the better. Review your test scripts with a solution architect to make sure you are covering all aspects in case something was not captured in the requirements document.
Exit and Entry Criteria
This is the most important part of any System Testing. As a tester, you need to be very clear on inputs and outputs. An input drives an output, which must meet a requirement-based test result, if you want a test to pass. In other words, you need to know what to expect when you run a test script.
Last, but not least, you need to communicate your testing results with all stakeholders at the end of a System Test cycle. Providing regular statistics on how many test scripts were run, how many failed, and how many passed could be as simple as creating an excel spreadsheet report, which can provide a valuable information to your client, and your team.
The first cycle of System Testing is done. Now, the developers will start fixing the bugs, so you can start your System Test cycle again.
About the Author
Joanna Knott is a Consultant, in Statêra’s Business Applications (Salesforce CRM and Apttus CPQ) Practice. She possesses certifications in Salesforce.com (Admin, Service Cloud, Sales Cloud and Community Cloud) and Apttus (CPQ). In her past time, Joanna likes to read, garden and hike in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. She is also a mentor at a local Toastmasters International club, and a supporter of several charitable organizations.