What is a test approach?
The test approach is the approach that someone takes when creating test cases.
There are roughly two approach to creating test cases:
Experience-based testing utilize testers' skills and intuition, along with their experience with similar applications or technologies. These tests are effective at finding defects but not as appropriate as coverage-based testing to achieve specific test coverage levels or producing reusable test procedures. There are hybrid approaches possible. Exploratory testing for instance, can be very well applied with the use of coverage types. And there are test design techniques that may be used within experience-based as well as coverage-based testing, such as the Data Combination Test (Classification Tree Technique).
Coverage-based (also known as script-based) is a way to derive and select test situations based on an analysis of the test basis, applying selected coverage types, to reach a desired coverage.
Combine test approaches
When designing a test strategy it is best to combine coverage-based and experience based approaches.
The decision to choice a specific approach lies with a test lead (test coordinator) for a specific test level in a waterfall environment and the whole team in an agile environment. It’s done in consultation with several stakeholders, such as the project manager and product owner.
The choice for a specific approach is usually described in a test plan.
The choice for a specific approach depends among others on the availability of a test basis, maturity of the organization.