Identifying Testing Priorities Through Risk Analysis

Rick Craig, Software Quality Engineering

It's impossible to test everything-even in the most trivial of systems. Tight time schedules and shortages of trained testing personnel exacerbate this problem; so do changing priorities, feature creep, and loss of resources. In many companies, test professionals either begin their work on whichever components they encounter first, or the parts they're most familiar with. Unfortunately, these approaches may result in the delivery of a system where the most critical components remain untested. Or, at the very least, critical components are tested later in the lifecycle when there may not be time to fix the problems found. All of this adds to the risk of a project. One way to overcome every one of these challenges is to employ the use of risk analysis. Rick Craig demonstrates the basics of a usable process for assigning testing priorities based on relative risk. He helps you ensure the capability of your test team to do a reasonably comprehensive test, no matter what the circumstance.

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