Throughout their life lifetime, software products go through a lot of modifications. Regression testing is necessary when the product undergoes a change.
Failure to undertake adequate regression testing can result in a lot of unnecessary pain — it’s possible that everything in the new sprint is working great, but the previously created features and functions are broken. If this occurs, the customer will not enjoy the new capabilities and will get enraged, annoyed, and difficult to deal with.
In this post, we will go through the basics of regression testing and the contexts in which it is used. We’ll go over the issues that a quality assurance manager could experience while performing regression testing in great detail. Later, we’ll look at how to come up with an effective and efficient regression testing plan to address these issues.
What is Regression Testing?
According to the ISTQB glossary, regression testing is defined as follows:
“Testing of a previously tested program after it has been modified to guarantee that faults have not been introduced or found in portions of the software that have remained intact as a result of the changes.” When the software or its environment is modified, this procedure is followed.”
When to perform Regression Testing?
When any of the following situations occur during the software development lifecycle, regression testing is performed:
- A flaw has been identified and corrected.
- A requirement change is implemented.
- The implementation of a new business rule, feature, or functionality.
- A new module, component, or subsystem is created and incorporated into an existing system or module.
Challenges of Regression Testing
When it comes to performing regression testing on a software product, regression testing is simple to define and understand. The changing nature of software products is one of the reasons.
As the product’s functionalities and capacities grow, so does its complexity. Finally, when testing the application for regression, the quality assurance team may face time constraints and management pressure.
Before you can design a counter strategy for such issues, you must first understand them thoroughly. Let’s take a look at some of the most typical regression testing challenges, which are listed below:
Knowledge of Existing Application
As the workload grows, new testers may be added to the team. The new team members learn about the new modules, subsystems, and components they’ve been assigned. This understanding may be adequate for significant functional testing, but it is insufficient for regression testing. With only limited knowledge, you can’t perform thorough regression testing.
As a result, delivering knowledge of existing features and functionalities to new members becomes a difficulty for testers. Similarly, fresh testers are apprehensive about learning about what transpired in the past.
This reluctance can be due to the fact that a current application already comprises a large number of modules or subsystems, as well as a large number of business rules. Other times, testers who tested early versions of the program may leave the team, leaving no one on the team with a thorough understanding of early features and business rules.
In such cases, a consistent test management and requirement management approach must be followed so that new testers can efficiently execute regression testing.
Expensive for Business
The depiction of regression testing’s benefit to business personnel is another difficulty. It’s possible that the organization’s business divisions regard regression testing as a cost that adds little value to the company. They may see it as a waste of time and resources to test something that has already been produced, tested, and deployed at an early level. As a result, management may be hesitant to set aside funds, time, and resources to do software regression testing. As a result, management might be irritatingly critical and demand justifications for each regression testing cycle.
It is your responsibility as a quality assurance manager to persuade management of the necessity and value of regression testing. You’ll need to think about how to create an efficient and successful regression test method. Remember that management wants to give you the least number of resources, time, and money possible, so craft your request accordingly and be prepared to explain your request.
Less Time for Regression Testing
When software testers are ordered to undertake regression testing, they are tempted to test the software extensively. The quality assurance team, on the other hand, does not have much time to undertake regression testing. As a result, the quality assurance manager would be advised to ensure that the testing team does not focus all of their efforts on a few modules, leaving other modules untested owing to a lack of resources. This means that the quality assurance manager must create an effective regression testing approach to ensure that all essential test cases are completed in the allotted period.
Easy to lose track
More test cases are added to the regression test suite as new features and updates are integrated in the software product. As the product’s functions develop, testers become overloaded by regression test cases, and they lose track of test cases, missing crucial test cases. This can be avoided by constantly reviewing the regression test suite and eliminating any test cases that are no longer relevant. It’s also crucial to avoid duplicating test cases, as this would add to the testers’ extra labor and annoyance.
Selection of Regression Test Cases
Another problem of regression testing is selecting test cases for the regression test suite. You want to make sure that the regression checks all points of integration and changes. At the same time, because you have less time for regression testing, you cannot overburden your regression test suite with test cases. As a result, you must carefully choose test cases, monitor the test suite on a frequent basis, and perform periodic cleanup to eliminate old or unneeded test cases from the regression test suite.
Another issue comes when there is a requirement conflict. You must pay close attention to the most recent requirements and test cases. Any carelessness could result in the invalid test cases being kept and the valid test cases being removed. Ensure that all necessary test cases for the new situations have been developed and moved to the regression test suite.
How to make your Regression Testing Effective?
Phew! We recently went over the many difficulties that arise at each stage of regression testing. You must be feeling uneasy now, and you’re looking for solutions to your problems. Don’t be concerned! We have a few pointers that will assist you in developing a successful regression testing approach. Incorporate the following factors into your regression testing plan to better your regression testing:
Closely Monitor the Changes
In regression testing, keeping a close eye on changes is crucial. When a modification is made to an existing application, regression testing is conducted, as we explained. As a result, you’ll need to keep a careful eye on changes in the requirements and their impact on the application’s functionality. After that, you’ll need to make changes to your regression test suite’s test cases, such as adding new test cases, removing obsolete test cases, and changing any expected results or test steps.
New Test Cases for Impact of Changes
New features and changes are merged with current functionality as they are incorporated in the software product. These integrations are notoriously difficult and prone to errors and problems. This means that examining the effects of modifications and integrations of multiple modules, systems, or sub-systems can help you improve your regression test strategy.
The trick is to figure out where the points of integration are and how the updates, new features, or bug patches have impacted previous features and functioning. Create new test cases to test and verify the integrated application’s correctness. You can now add these test cases to your regression suite.
Identify Problematic Areas
Focusing on the issue areas is another crucial step toward good regression testing. Some software modules have fewer errors than others due to a variety of reasons such as the complexity level of each module, the developer’s competence, and the clarity of requirements. This is also visible in the bug reports, which show that some modules have a higher number of difficulties than others. You can look at the bug complaints and figure out which regions are the most problematic. Similarly, you can investigate user-reported issues that happened as a result of regression testing oversight.
You’ll get a clear image of any problematic places or challenging integration spots this way. As a result, you must concentrate and priorities testing of these risky aspects. During periodic cleanup of the regression test suite, take great care not to eliminate the corresponding test cases.
Maintain Regression Test Suite
Keep a repository of regression test suites on hand. Create new test cases for each new update or integration and add them to the regression test suite. Some of the existing test cases can also be moved to the regression test cases list. The purpose is to keep track of all test cases in one place, which should be run during each regression test cycle.
Not all test cases are suitable for a regression test suite; you must pick and choose which test cases to include in your regression suite. One technique to assure the accuracy and efficiency of test suites is to screen test cases on a regular basis. Test cases can be classified as reusable, re-testable, or obsolete to help you optimize your regression test suite. When it comes to executing successful regression testing, having a well-maintained regression test suite can come in handy.
Periodic Cleanup of Obsolete Test Cases
As we covered in the problems of regression testing section, when performing regression testing, the quality assurance team has limited time, resources, and is under a lot of pressure from management. As a result, it’s critical for the quality assurance manager to clean up the regression test suite on a regular basis. This will allow the QA to stay on track with their priorities and focus solely on running the required test cases.
You can, for example, eliminate test cases for requirements that are no longer valid. Otherwise, if the original and modified requirements indicate two different things, there may be a dispute. Similarly, it’s possible that you established a test case for confirming the integration of two modules, say Module A and Module B, and that you’ve double-checked its operation. There hasn’t been any change or requirement that has had an impact on the functionality of integrated Module AB. In this situation, you can delete the test cases that were created for the integrated Module AB verification.
Random Testing of User Scenarios
Nothing beats random testing at the end, no matter how cautious you were when creating test cases or how many possibilities you covered. Set aside some time to perform random testing on the application. These haphazard tests could cover whole process cycles. You could also put yourself in the shoes of various consumers and try to portray real-world circumstances as users engaging with the system.
Rotate Your Workforce
This is more of a human resource management issue. Because the quality assurance manager is in charge of a group of individuals, he should be concerned with their motivation and interest. If the same tester is asked to perform regression testing over and over, he may become bored, indifferent, or acquire tunnel vision. He will eventually lose motivation, and the quality of testing will deteriorate, allowing flaws to make it into the live release. As a result, a preferable strategy is to continuously rotating your personnel and assign regression testing to different testers.
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