What is the Test strategy?
The Test strategy describes the distribution of test resources on the various parts and aspects to be tested and is aimed at finding the most important defects as early as possible - and at the lowest costs. How much are we going to test the different parts and aspects of the system?
The Test Strategy reflects business and technology risks and opportunities, using the PRA as input, as well as the software development lifecycle. It defines the test varieties to be employed and how thorough testing, if any, is to be conducted in the individual test varieties. The Test Strategy states the test approach in such a way that everyone in a test project can understand. Test professionals that know when and why a test variety requires a certain test technique with a specific test depth, but also ‘non-testers’ – business people, analysts, designers and developers - people not deeply familiar with testing or its jargon. Although the Test Strategy is a joint product, the final approval is the prerogative of the client. The strategy itself is an important foundation for the test design and test planning and estimates.
The Test Strategy constitutes the operational contract on what and how to test between the stakeholders that fulfill the role of acceptor and those that are responsible for testing. Approving the Test Strategy is the responsibility of the client.
Input for the test strategy is:
- The Product Risk Analysis
- Insight in form, scope and level of detail of the test basis
Output artifacts are:
- The Test Strategy tables, cross referencing test varieties with their respective test thoroughness and depth.
- Other quality measures that can help with testing.
The Test Strategy is an agreement between parties, and the success of a Test Strategy can and will be perceived differently by these parties.
From a client viewpoint a successful test strategy translates to understanding which risks will be covered by testing, and to which extent, what are the residual risks?
From a testing viewpoint a successful test strategy not only brings this understanding, but it also provides a sound foundation for selecting proper coverage types and allocating proper test design techniques.