For more than two decades Risk-Based Testing (RBT) has been an effective tool in test manager’s hands, and highly acknowledged by testers and stakeholders as a key element of a software testing.
Priority of RBT is to determine and identify risks so that perceived risks were classified and categorised. Thus, determining higher risks, that will be addressed in first place. Risk-Based Testing despite being a foundation of the modern international testing standards has been quite rarely applied successfully to its full capabilities due to certain challenges associated with such analysis.
For majority project test managers introduction to Risk-Based Testing initially happens while they are testers. Testers primarily use RBT while system testing phase and it is a valid approach. But at the level of test manager while establishing testing strategy RBT is so much more useful and productive. Risk testing analysis, calculating and defining what particular test phases to use, addressing greater levels of risk in first place. A lot of managers while writing test plan for a project, many times include only testing activities that they directly control.
Test managers must include in test plan all of the testing that will be done across entire life cycle by developers, testers, and stakeholders. It is the test manager’s primary responsibility to take control over testing cycle. Risk-Based Testing works best when interaction between test manager and developers is on a high level. When this happens it reduces chances of poor development that might lead to higher cost testing.
RBT works only in the right hands. Risk-Based Testing will be handy and be a great benefit for those who possess a high level of testing maturity. The manager must know the available range of testing options and how each option relates to certain risk type, this way he will have ability to select appropriate testing for specific risk types. Testers that have trouble naming more than one testing technique will find RBT useless and inconvenient.
New and existing RBT users must consider that they should not only concentrate on deliverable product but also on risks to testing performance on a project itself, such as lack of testing resources, delays in delivery etc.
In order to work most effectively for Risk-Based testing the right balance must be found. Optimal balance will be achieved when product and project risks are considered together for a common mitigation goal. RBT is a great tool for professional testers with a simple and such useful concept. But unfortunately many testers have faiedl to apply such analysis in effective manner.