How To Decide What To Test When Short On Time

Deciding what to test when you are short on time can take time and effort. Still, it is essential to prioritize the most critical features and functionality to ensure that your product is of high quality. One approach is to prioritize testing based on the potential impact on the user. 

For example, if a particular feature is critical to the user experience, it is essential to test it thoroughly, even if it takes more time. On the other hand, if a feature is less important or less frequently used, it may be more efficient to allocate less time to test it.

Additionally, it may be helpful to consider the risk associated with a particular feature or functionality. 

For example, higher-risk items, such as those that handle sensitive data or have the potential to cause significant issues if they fail, should be given higher priority in the testing process. Therefore, you can decide what to test when time is limited by carefully considering these factors.

It is the responsibility of testers to think through all potential problems and then conduct tests to demonstrate that it is possible. 

What if the tester has a very constrained testing time in addition to a complex system? What if the tested capability is vital to the operation of the system?

If a tester has a very constrained testing time in addition to a complex system, it can be challenging to test the system and ensure it functions correctly and effectively. This can be particularly problematic if the tested capability is vital to the system’s operation, as any issues or defects not identified during testing could have significant consequences.

A tester might take several potential approaches in this situation, depending on the specific constraints and requirements of the testing environment. 

Some options could include the following:

01. Prioritizing testing

In a constrained testing environment, it may only be possible to thoroughly test some aspects of the system. 

In this case, it will be helpful to prioritize testing based on the importance of the various capabilities and the potential impact of any defects that may be present. This can help ensure that the system’s most critical aspects are tested as thoroughly as possible within the available time.

Here is an example of how prioritizing testing might be applied in practice

A software development team is working on a new feature for a mobile app. They have a limited amount of time available for testing before the component needs to be released. In addition, the team needs to prioritize their testing efforts to ensure that the most critical aspects of the feature are thoroughly tested before the release.

The team might decide to prioritize testing in the following way:

  1. Test the core functionality of the feature to ensure it is working correctly and as expected.
  2. Check the feature’s performance to ensure that it is not causing any issues with the app’s overall performance.
  3. Assess the feature’s compatibility with different devices and operating systems to ensure that it is accessible to as many users as possible.
  4. Test the feature’s user experience to ensure that it is easy to use and intuitive.
  5. Test any additional functionality or features that are less important or have a lower impact on the app’s overall performance.

By prioritizing their testing, the team can ensure that the most critical aspects of the feature are thoroughly tested before the release while still leaving time for testing other quality elements.

02. Leveraging automation

Automated testing tools can be helpful in complex systems with constrained testing times, as they can help to speed up the testing process and allow for more comprehensive testing in a shorter period. This can be particularly useful for testing repetitive tasks or running large numbers of tests in parallel.

03. Seeking additional resources

If the testing time is exceptionally constrained, it may be necessary to seek other resources, such as different testers or testing infrastructure, to complete testing promptly. This can be particularly important if the tested capability is vital to the system’s operation, as any testing delays could have significant consequences.

04. Using risk-based testing

Risk-based testing prioritizes testing based on the potential impact and likelihood of defects. This can be useful in constrained testing environments, as it allows testers to focus on the most critical areas of the system and ensure that any identified defects are addressed as quickly as possible.

Here is an example of using risk-based testing in a software development project:

  1. Identify risks: The first step in risk-based testing is to identify the risks associated with the system under development. These risks could be related to the system’s functionality, performance, design, security, or any other aspect of the system that could cause problems.
  2. Prioritize risks: Once the stakes have been identified, they can be prioritized based on the likelihood and impact of each risk. Risks with a higher probability of occurring and a more substantial influence on the system should be given higher priority for testing.
  3. Develop a testing strategy: Based on the prioritized risks, a testing strategy can be developed to test the system’s most critical and high-risk areas thoroughly. This might involve creating a set of test cases covering these areas or devising more comprehensive testing approaches, such as exploratory or risk-based testing.
  4. Execute the testing plan: Once the testing strategy has been developed, it can be executed by the testing team. This might involve running the test cases created or implementing more flexible testing approaches such as exploratory testing.
  5. Review and adapt: As the testing is being carried out, the testing team should regularly review the testing results and identify any additional risks that may have been uncovered. Based on this information, the testing strategy can be adapted and modified to ensure that the system’s most critical and high-risk areas are thoroughly tested.

Overall, it is essential for testers to be mindful of the constraints of the testing environment and to carefully consider the most effective approaches for ensuring the quality and reliability of the system under test. In complex systems with constrained testing times, prioritization, automation, and risk-based testing may be necessary to achieve the desired level of testing coverage.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when faced with limited time for testing, it is essential to prioritize the most critical and high-risk areas of the product or system. This may include functionalities central to the user experience, those that have the potential for significant impact on business operations, and those legally required. 

It is also helpful to consult with subject matter experts and stakeholders to identify the most critical areas to test. Focusing on the actual sizes and ensuring that they are adequately covered makes it possible to prioritize testing even when time is short effectively.

But in case you want to run the software through all sorts of testing as soon as possible, then the best way is to use an automation testing tool like TestGrid.

TestGrid will take all the hassle of testing the entire software on automation and present the reports in the most simple and easy-to-understand way possible so that you can either share it with the client or work on fixing the bugs faster than ever.