Challenges of Regression Testing|
Regression testing is easy to define and understand, but baffling when it comes to perform regression testing of a software product. One reason is the dynamic nature of software product.
Further complexity is added as the product’s functionalities and capabilities expand. Lastly, the quality assurance team might also face time limitations and pressure from the management when they are testing the application for regression.
You need to understand the challenges well, before you can craft a counter strategy for those challenges. Let’s have a look at the common challenges of regression testing, listed below:
Knowledge of Existing Application
It happens that new testers join the team, as the workload increases. The new team members gain knowledge of the new modules, subsystems and components assigned to them. This knowledge might be sufficient for major functional testing, but insufficient for the regression testing. You can not perform complete regression testing with partial knowledge.
Hence, it becomes a challenge for the testers to deliver the knowledge of existing features and functionalities to the new members. Similarly, new testers are not very comfortable in gaining knowledge of what happened in the past.
Sometimes this reluctance is result of the fact that existing application already contains a lot of modules or subsystems, with myriad business rules implemented. At other times, the testers that tested the early versions of the application might leave the team and consequently no one in the team might have detailed, correct knowledge of early features and business rules.
In such scenarios, it is mandatory that a consistent test management and requirement management approach is followed so that new testers can also perform regression testing effectively.
Expensive for Business
Another challenge associated with the regression testing is the portrayal of its value to business people. It might happen that business units of the organization see regression testing as an expense to the organization with little value to the business. They might consider it a drain of resources and manpower to test again and again, something which has already been developed, tested and deployed at early stages. Hence, the management can be reluctant in allocating the budget, time and resources to conduct the activity of software regression testing. Hence, the management can be annoyingly critical and demand justifications for every cycle of regression testing.
As quality assurance manager, it is your duty to convince the management about the need and importance of regression testing. You will need to intelligently devise a regression test strategy which is efficient and effective. Remember that management is interested in giving you minimal resources, time and budget so make request accordingly and be prepared to justify your demand.
Less Time for Regression Testing
When testers are told to perform regression testing, they are tempted to perform exhaustive testing of the software product. However, the quality assurance team is not given much time to perform regression testing. Therefore, it is wiser of the quality assurance manager to make sure that the testing team does not exhaust all energies on a few modules – missing out the testing of other modules due to shortage of team. This means that the quality assurance manager needs to devise an intelligent methodology for regression testing to assure that every required test case has been executed within the limited span of time.
Easy to lose track
As new features and changes are implemented in the software product, more test cases are added to the regression test suite. As the product functionalities expands, testers are overwhelmed by the regression test cases and they fall victim to lose the track of test cases, overlooking the important test cases. This can be prevented by regularly monitoring the regression test suite and deleting the obsolete test cases. It is also important to avoid any duplication of test cases, else they will add to the unnecessary effort and frustration for testers.
Selection of Regression Test Cases
Selection of test cases for the regression test suite is yet another challenge of regression testing. You want to make sure that all points of integration and changes are being verified by the regression. At the same time, you can not overload your regression test suite with test cases as you get less time for regression testing. As a result, you need to choose the test cases wisely, regularly monitor the test suite and perform periodic cleanup for removing obsolete or unnecessary test cases from the regression test suite.
Another problem arises when there is a conflict of requirements. You need to be really mindful of the updated requirements and corresponding test cases. Any carelessness might result in retaining the test cases that have now become invalid and removing the valid test cases. Furthermore, make sure that all required test cases, for the new scenarios, have been created and moved to the regression test suite.