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5 Tips Ensuring Effective Context Driven Testing

Great post... Thought I should share!

With so many controversies in the field of software application testing you can never be sure best testing practices will work in the context of your software or application. That’s why the need for context-driven approach to testing has arisen.
And here are the 5 tips on how to smartly perform context-based, or context-driven, testing.

1. Ask Questions

What context-driven testers seem to be emphasizing the most often is the need to ask questions of everybody involved in the project. To fully grab the project’s context and get the maximum test coverage, you should ask a number of questions to stakeholders, development team, your fellow testers, etc.
Asking questions can just as well be your perfect driver of career improvement beyond any specific project. By asking questions constantly and questioning the current status quo junior testers are able to learn from mentors and even the other way round. There is every evidence that successful testers are those who are the most curious and apt to spread their gained knowledge around them.

2. Plan Ahead

No one would probably argue that all the knowledge is of no use if you have no efficient way of putting it in practice. Thus, building a test plan and sharing it with the whole team will make you increasingly efficient, build rapport within the company and generate more meaningful conversations.
It doesn’t mean you should expect feedback from every person in your organization, of course, but you should share the initial test plan details with the foremost stakeholders to give them idea about what type of return to expect and show them there are some fixed guidelines your team is following and any changes of their own plan can impact your testing strategy greatly.

3. Adjust Your Plan

Once you’ve got a plan you should in no way expect it’s ultimate though. A software project goes fully as expected in very rare cases, so you must be ready for possible adjustments. If you fail to be flexible to some extent, your test strategy is likely to lead to frustration and unthorough test coverage. With changing schedules, newly added features and arising priorities, it’s a must to adapt your strategy accordingly.
Meanwhile, make sure that after showing your testing plan to stakeholders you aren’t made to go backwards and make up for earlier stage project mistakes. Since your ultimate goal is achieving the possible maximum test coverage under parameters at hand, you don’t have to stick to the plan if those parameters are ever-changing for such a plan doesn’t serve your goal any more.

4. Let Stakeholders Decide On the Project Completion

For everybody’s sake, it makes sense to hand over the power and responsibility to the stakeholders to decide the timeline of the project. It’s their job after all and this also releases testers from the responsibility to decide whether they should hit or miss the deadline.
Testers often forget that their direct responsibility is to test the product as fully as they can given the limitations set by stakeholders, and to then provide as much data back as possible.

5. Avoid Applying Any Practice Blindly

This is apparently the pillar on which the whole context-driven ideology stands. That is, best practices and tips won’t work in every situation and in the end it will all boil down to how much you can do with the information at hand at any given moment of time.
This kind of flexibility is exactly what will keep context-driven testers elevated to the new heights in their field for the coming decades.

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