Test strategy

What is it?
What does it look like?

As per James Bach “How we plan to cover the product so as to develop an adequate assessment of quality.”
A good test strategy is:

  • Specific
  • Practical
  • Justified

Wikipedia defination “A test strategy is an outline that describes the testing approach of the software development cycle.”

The purpose of a test strategy is to clarify the major tasks and challenges of the test project. Test strategy is sometime also refered as Test Approach and Test Architecture.

Example of a poorly stated (and probably poorly conceived) test strategy:

“We will use black box testing, cause-effect graphing, boundary testing, and white box testing to test this product against its specification.”

Whether you are professional tester or not everyone does some sort of testing. You test before you buy a shirt, a cell phone or a pair of shoes. In each of the 3 cases you approach for testing will change. You may argue that you are testing as an enduser but still you are testing.
Similarly, in software you approach should and will change for different types of application/product. Approach for testing a standalone windows application will be different from a web application or a mobile application.
Test Technique

“A way of creating or executing tests.” and is much more general than a test strategy.

Test Cases/Procedures

Test cases and procedures should manifest the test strategy and if your strategy is to “execute the test suite I got from Rajiv”, how does that answer the prime strategic questions:

How will you cover the product and assess quality?
How is that practical and justified with respect to the specifics of this project and product?

If you don’t know, then your real strategy is that you’re trusting things to work out.

More on how to define and identify your test strategy will be covered in a separate post.

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