Risk-Based Testing: What Is It and How It Works

The competition in the software development industry is very high. To be successful, companies strive to create the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost. And coping with this task without an effectively configured QA process is almost impossible.

But the problem is that deadlines and budgets rarely allow QA to test an application’s features equally thoroughly. They have to decide which tasks are worth spending more effort and time on and which do not require as much attention.

How do they make such important decisions? Relying on the subjective opinion of team members is not the best option. Risk-based testing allows you to set goals correctly and rationally prioritize.

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In basic terms, risk-based testing is performed for any project based on specific risks. It uses risk to prioritize and focus on the relevant tests during the test performance. The risk represents the probability of some unwanted situations associated with a particular impact on the project execution.

Just because there might not be enough time to test the functionality, such testing involves checking the functionality with the most significant influence and the likelihood of failure.

As a result, the term stands for the idea that it is possible to organize testing efforts to decrease the residual level of some product’s risk when the system is in action.

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Main characteristics of Risk-based testing

The significant characteristics include the following points:

1. The approach is used early during the project execution. It involves detecting the system’s quality risks, including getting to know the main risks in guide testing planning, specification, performance, and preparatory phase.

2. It involves mitigating risks to decrease the probability of flaws and exceptionally high-impact imperfections.

3. It also involves measuring how well the project team performs its functions when detecting and removing various flaws in the critical aspects of the project.

4. Such testing may also involve risk evaluation aimed at identifying proactive opportunities to eradicate or prevent flaws in the system with the help of non-testing activities. It’s also used to help choose what test activities to execute.

Such testing aims to achieve a risk-free project. What can be achieved through this procedure is the performance of testing with the use of the best practices of risk management aimed at achieving the project results that will balance the risks with features, quality, schedule, and budget.

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Easy Way to Execute Testing

There are several stages of project testing. These include:

  • Creating a list of risks and prioritizing them;
  • Using the approach to examine each risk in particular;
  • Together with eradicating risks and emerging new ones, the testing helps to adjust to changes and concentrate on what needs must be met.

As a result, the procedure does not require too much time or effort and represents an inherent part of project development.

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What is the purpose of risk-based testing?

There are many use cases of such testing, which mainly include the following issues:

To shape a framework to promote well-organized interaction between various stakeholders regarding the existing risks. This will let you determine the terms and find an agreement on the common language, which will make the risks more visible;

To address customers’ needs, including such aspects as the features of the business, quality, price, and timing, among others. This also refers to the requirements of the development team that mainly include the timeline, maintenance, and scope;

To offer a well-defined framework to decide how to handle the budget, negotiate about the timeframes and avoid delays without influencing the software quality;

The final point involves highlighting the most significant features and problems to customers, which, in turn, will create the hierarchy of various requirements of the testing procedure.

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Benefits of risk-based testing

As you can see, risk-based testing allows companies to manage limited resources efficiently. This approach helps QA teams optimize their work, prioritize correctly, find the most critical bugs earlier, and see the degree of test coverage at each software development cycle stage.

Thus, the main benefits of risk-based testing are reduced development costs, reduced time to market, and improved application quality.

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Overall, you can enjoy the following advantages of the testing approach:

1. Focus on clientele

Such an approach is concentrated on thoroughly testing what affects the clientele directly. It aims to improve business performance within the industry, reduce the odds of negative customer feedback, and minimize the influence of each risk detected throughout this procedure.

2. Improved software quality

The approach identifies greater risks and ensures that the most significant functions are thoroughly tested. As a result, the software programs can be launched risk-free to meet quality expectations.

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3. Well-organized testing

When risks are detected and their influence is analyzed, it becomes simpler to determine what to test, where to begin, and when to stop the testing procedure. As a result, it will become possible to determine the scope of the testing process and the priority of test performance within a restricted period.

4. Aims of Risk-based Testing

The process of testing itself is based on the use of principles of handling risks. It is aimed to:
Meet customer requirements and the needs of developers;

  • Provide and improve a framework that encourages negotiation between developers, test executors, and other involved individuals;
  • Offer specific criteria to determine how to deal with budgets and avoid delays without worsening the quality of programs.
  • Concentrate on risks to make it easier to identify each of them;

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Furthermore, it also emphasizes what features are most considerable for clients. Besides, it helps determine what testing demands are more significant than others.

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