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QA Testing Methodology, Types and Techniques

by Anna B.
by Anna B.
Business Analyst
22 May 2021
Reading Time: 12 minutes

According to Statista, IT companies spend about 23% of their product development budgets on QA testing. Is it worth it? Only if you choose the right quality assurance testing methods, types, and techniques The right approach is likely to bring the expected results. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of money.

How can you successfully allocate a portion of your budget to make the most of your team’s QA efforts? Read this article and find out the essential information about quality assurance testing types and their pros and cons. Furthermore, learn what different types of software testing are suitable for various cases.

 

 

What are Quality Assurance Testing Methodologies?

 

In layman’s terms, software quality assurance testing methodologies are the strategies of making sure that the product meets the requirements and expectations of end-users. Quality assurance testing methodologies predetermine when, at what stage of development, how many times, and in what way the QA team will test software.

 

 

Importance of Software Quality Assurance Testing Methodologies

 

Efficiency and productivity depend on the choice of methodology. Only the right strategy will allow you to get the expected result. Therefore, you need to choose the methodology that suits your specific case best.

Incorrect choice of quality assurance testing methods often leads to:

  • missing deadlines;
  • exceeding the allocated budget;
  • releasing a product with bugs because of the impossibility of fixing them in the right time frame and with the existing budget.

To avoid such problems, pay thorough attention when selecting the appropriate method among plenty of software quality assurance testing methodologies. To make the right choice you should know the testing fundamentals of each methodology. Keep reading and find out what methods exist and what their peculiarities are.

 

 

The Difference Between QA Testing Methods and QA Testing Types

 

Software QA testing methodologies and software QA testing types answer different questions regarding the way of testing.

 

The difference between QA testing methods and quality assurance testing types

 

A QA testing methodology answers the question: Software quality assurance testing types answers the question:
When do you test the software? How do you test QA?

 

On the one hand, quality assurance testing methodologies are a broader term that means the whole strategy of testing. Thus, you can choose only one methodology.

On the other hand, software quality assurance testing types are a narrower term, which. means what exact properties or features of the product your team will check  and how. Bear in mind that your team can use many types of QA testing within one methodology.

 

 

The Main Software QA Testing Methodologies

 

There are 6 common models in which testing takes a different place in the product development process.  You will find the detailed descriptions of each model below.

 

Agile Methodology

This is a flexible strategy. Testing with this methodology is not singled out as a separate phase but an integral part of software development that happens simultaneously with writing code. Every new feature and property is checked after each iteration of software software. After component testing, there is a user acceptance testing that allows obtaining feedback from a client.

A QA team can test a product not once before release but to perform a step-by-step testing at each stage of its development. This reduces the time for bug fixing and speeds up product release.

Additionally, with Agile, coders and testers usually work together not separately from each other. Their collaboration reduces the time necessary to report and fix bugs.

Agile Methodology

 

Waterfall Methodology

According to this strategy, testing is a separate phase of product development. Thus, it can begin only after the coding is completed. Testers work separately from coders. Moreover, they may not be engaged in the requirements phase.

Here, testing has a clear time frame. The list of features and properties to be checked and the range of quality assurance testing procedures are precisely defined in advance. These are the advantages of this model.

However, a huge disadvantage is that it is difficult. Thus, it takes a lot of time to fix major flaws in a completed project. Consequently, this model is considered old-fashioned and inconvenient.

 

Waterfall Methodology

 

Verification and Validation Methodology (V-Model)

Within this model, testing is not one phase at the end of the product development. The whole process of testing consists of several stages. Each of them corresponds to the level of development it is held at. Usually, the product is tested 2-3 times (once during each phase): design (sometimes it is divided into 2 subphases: high-level design and low-level design), and coding.

 

Verification and Validation Methodology (V-Model)

 

Incremental Methodology

According to the incremental model of software development, the product is created in several steps called iterations. Development of each iteration consists of all phases that are inherent to Waterfall methodology: requirements gathering, design, coding, and testing.

Each subsequent release of a system has a new feature added to the previous release. This way, new pieces of functionality are added to the project until all requirements of a client are implemented.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, each release undergoes testing which reduces timing and budget on fixing bugs. The earlier they are found, the easier it is to fix them.

Incremental Methodology

Spiral Methodology

This model looks like an incremental one but with an emphasis on risk analysis. The product is built in a few steps (iterations) as well but the phases of each of them are a bit different. They are:

  1. Planning;
  2. Risk analysis;
  3. Development;
  4. Testing. If the results of it are satisfactory, the team transits to the next turn of the spiral.

Thus, the product is tested not once but several times: at the end of each iteration. 

 

Spiral Methodology

 

XP (Extreme Programming) Methodology

This is one of the flexible models of software development. The creator of this methodology has taken the best practices of Agile models and strengthened them to the extreme. That’s why this methodology has such a name.

Testing plays a key role in this model. Product development has plenty of iterations. They are released once in 0,5-6 months. There are many versions with a few new features. The small amount of functionality is easier to test, which keeps an entire system working even if it’s a monolithic one.

Each iteration undergoes obligatory  testing. A client himself defines the requirements for the automated acceptance tests to check how the next product feature works. The developers’ team codes these tests and uses them to check the code.

 

Pay attention that in XP, tests are created by the programmers themselves, not by testers. They do it before writing the code itself. With this approach, each feature is 100% covered by tests. When the code is uploaded to the repository, the unit tests are run immediately. All of them should be passed successfully. Only then developers can be sure that they are moving in the right direction.

XP (Extreme Programming) Methodology

 

 

Which QA Testing Methodology to Choose?

 

The choice of strategy depends on:

  • peculiarities of the product;
  • timing;
  • the budget allocated for testing and the whole development process;
  • availability of the required specialists.

 

What are the different methodologies in software testing that are suitable for various cases?

 

Methodology In what cases it is appropriate
Agile
  • The niche is dynamic and there is a need to constantly adapt a product to changing requirements.
  • Small budgets: this methodology makes it possible to realize the changes at the lowest price due to a large number of iterations.
Waterfall
  • There are no requirements that may conflict with each other.
  • All requirements are clearly defined, and they are not going to change during development.
  • The project is relatively small.
V-model
  • This is a small or medium-scale project.
  • Many  qualified testers are available.
  • There is an opportunity to involve testers at each stage of development (the best option is to have them in-house).
  • Requirements are clearly defined and fixed.
Incremental
  • The main requirements are clearly defined. However, some of the secondary ones might change over time.
  • Time to market (TTM) is short
  • There are several risky features or goals which may need to be improved or removed in future releases.
Spiral
  • Ideal for large, complex, and expensive projects.
  • Risky endeavors with a high level of uncertainty to account for 
Extreme Programming
  • Availability of broad-expertise specialists (developers should be able to create automated tests).
  • The need to release the first version of a product as soon as possible and improve it over time.
  • The design is simple.

 

Important note: The earlier bugs are found, the faster and cheaper it is to fix them. Thus, it’s better to choose methodologies that include several testing phases, not a single one. For example, Agile, V-Model, and Incremental methods are more profitable and convenient than Waterfall. 

 

Have you decided which methodology to choose yet? Then let’s discuss what to do next.

 

 

How to Setup Quality Assurance Testing Methodologies?

 

This should be done in four stages. Each of them is important. Thus, you should go through all of them one by one. 

 

Scheduling

Realistic planning is the key to implementing a successful testing methodology. The timing should correspond to the needs and abilities of each team member.

 

Defined Deliverables

For all team members to know what to do, clearly defined requirements should be provided. They should be unambiguous and contain no doubtful statements.

 

Test Approach

After getting the scheduling and requirements , the team chooses what techniques and procedures to use during testing.

 

Reporting

This stage is rather complex, but the effectiveness of the testing approach depends on it.

 

 

Functional QA Testing Types

 

Can software the features of which don’t work correctly be called a good one? Of course not. For the users to appreciate your product, check whether all of its functionality works right. A functional QA will help you with this.

This type includes the following quality assurance testing procedures:

  • preparing of testing plan based on the documentation and business requirements to the product;
  • passing test cases by the software;
  • analyzing the correspondence of the expected and obtained results.

What are different types of testing product features? Depending on the depth of checks of the software, there are three kinds of it. They are described in detail below.

 

Smoke Testing: Does the Product Work at All?

This is the first stage of checking whether software operates correctly. Without it, there is no sense to carry out deeper tests.

Smoke testing helps to find blockers, errors that make the work of the product impossible. An installation error is an example of a blocker.

 

Critical Path Testing: Does the Product Satisfy the Main Needs of Users?

This is the main and the most important of all the software QA testing types. Usually, the majority of product requirements are checked at this stage.

All significant properties and features of software are tested for operating correctly during their standard use. If basic software features do not work properly for some reason, then user experience with the product won’t be good. Thus, the threshold value of the metric for passing this testing level usually reaches 90%.

 

Extended Testing: Does the Product Work Correctly in Atypical and Exotic Cases?

This is the check of all the functionality declared in the requirements. Even the least important and the most rarely used features are tested. With enough time and resources, even the lowest priority requirements can be checked.

Another area of testing within this stage is atypical, unlikely, extraordinary cases, and scenarios of using the features and properties that have already been checked during the critical path.

The threshold value of the metric for successful passing of extended testing is significantly lower than in the critical path. Even 30% sometimes is acceptable, since the vast majority of defects found at this stage don’t influence the successful use of software by most users.

If you have a tight budget, you can skip this stage. The first two types of QA that are listed above are usually enough for estimating whether software can satisfy the needs of customers.

 

 

Non-functional Quality Assurance Testing Type

 

If functional testing answers the question “Does a product work?”, then the non-functional one answers the question: “How well does software work?”. It is aimed at testing those aspects of a product that can be described in the documentation but are not related to certain features.

How many types of testing are there in QA of the non-functional kind? Depending on which exact parameter of software is tested, seven non-functional testing types are distinguished. Read about each of them in more detail.

 

Performance Testing

This is checking the productivity and speed of work of software. What are the four types of testing performance? They are:

  • Load Testing checks the response time under a typical load.
  • Stress Testing checks whether there are no crashes under extreme conditions. For example, the shortage of PC resources (deficient RAM or lack of HDD/SSD memory).
  • Endurance Testing finds out how the system works under a condition of a continuous high load.
  • Spike Testing finds out how the software behaves when load radically increases or decreases out of a sudden. 

 

UI Testing

All the aspects of convenience for the end-users are checked. Does the target audience like the software colors and design? Is it convenient to click the buttons? Are the most common features easily accessible? All this impacts the level of success and popularity of a product. Thus, all these parameters are checked with the help of this testing type.

 

Security Testing

It helps to answer whether the software is safe or not. Testers check if a product is vulnerable to various types of attacks.

 

Configuration Testing

This type is usually used to define the system requirements of software. Testers look at how the product works on devices with different specifications and operational systems (OSs). Detailed check of software behavior under different conditions allows to figure out what specifications are suitable for its effective, smooth, and uninterrupted functioning.

 

Compatibility Testing

This type checks if software works correctly in a certain environment. For example:

  • on different OSs;
  • on various devices with different specifications;
  • in different browsers (for web-applications).

 

Localization Testing

This checks versions of all the content for all countries software has been adapted to. The following parameters are taken into account:

  • correctness of text display;
  • accuracy of translation;
  • compliance with the cultural and religious norms of a certain country.

 

Usability Testing

The convenience and effectiveness of the interface are evaluated. For this, the representative of the target audience (a typical user of a product) should be involved.

 

 

Manual Vs. Automated Testing

 

The quality of software can be checked either with the help of specially created automated tests or manually. Let’s overview the peculiarities, pros and cons of each way.

 

Manual Vs. automated testing

 

The way of testing Manual Automated
Advantages Low price. Manual process is cheaper than automatic checking tools. High load can be easily imitated.
An opportunity to test UI. This can be done only by a human. Time is saved. Creating automatic tests is faster than manual testing.
An ability to use not only prepared in advance test-cases but also improvised scenarios. An ability of quick retesting. The tests that were created once can be used again for checking the new versions of a product.
Disadvantages Impossibility of high load testing. One user can’t imitate a high load. Higher price. The tools for automated testing are more expensive.
Longer duration. It takes more time to make everything manually than just to create automated tests. The impossibility to evaluate the quality of UI.
High laboriousness and long duration of retesting. All the processes must be done manually. Higher risks of mistakes as there is no human touch.
In what cases it is more appropriate When it is needed to check the quality of UI. When it is needed to carry out high load testing.
When reports from a human are important. When the methodologies that require frequent retesting are used.

 

Important note: It is better to go for automated testing if you have chosen such methodologies as Agile, Incremental, Spiral, or XP as they require several retestings.

 

 

Quality Assurance Testing Techniques

 

Depending on the approach to testing, three quality assurance testing techniques are distinguished.

 

White Box Testing

This is checking the system from the inside. A tester has access to the code and can edit it. This technique ensures that the components of a program are correct and work smoothly. Such an approach is typical for unit testing during which different elements of software are checked separately.

 

Black Box Testing

This is checking software from an end-user perspective. A tester doesn’t have access to the code. He looks at the software through the same interfaces as the users will. Such a technique is usually used in beta-testing.

 

Grey Box Testing

This is something in between the white box and black box QA testing techniques. It checks the product’s quality and functionality with partial knowledge of its internal structure.

A tester doesn’t need access to the code. He looks at the software through a usual interface knowing the peculiarities of its backend. The tests are created taking into account the architecture and algorithms typical for the product.

Such an approach combines the advantages of both white box and black box quality assurance testing techniques. as the quality of both interface and back-end can be estimated.

 

 

Software Quality Assurance Testing Methodologies by JoinSoft

 

JoinSoft provides a full cycle of software development including QA testing. To streamline your business, we can offer:

  • A team of high-quality professionals with 5 or more years of experience.
  • Detailed daily or weekly reports about the work done.
  • Strict adherence to deadlines.
  • Loyal rates.
  • NDA compliance.

 

 

Final Thoughts About Quality Assurance Testing Methods

 

The right choice of QA testing methodologies, types, and techniques ensures that the final version of a product meets the requirements of a client and the needs of end-users. Thorough checking of software is the key to success. Thus, decide what is better for your product and build a winning QA testing strategy.

JoinSoft can help you with effective QA testing by finding a solution most suitable for your particular case and implementing it at the required time at reasonable cost.

 

 

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