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Software Testing Techniques

All successful Project Managers should have a basic understanding of software testing techniques. In this article you will learn an Introduction to the various Software Testing Techniques, which will equip you to more effectively manage any project from writing a project initiation document through a software development life cycle model.

1.0 Introduction to Software Testing Techniques

This article on software testing techniques will teach you the basic concepts needed to understand software testing and to implement the necessary steps to use when trying to get software deployment projects delivered. Whilst software testing techniques often become quite complicated, the intention of this page is not to become bogged down in every possible scenario, otherwise we’d be here all night and after all that’s what your QA Lead should be dealing with day to day.

As such, taking into account the 80/20 principle we’re going to focus on the part of testing which will have the greatest visible impact for your users and project stakeholders. Luckily this is also the easiest part of software application testing to understand and get involved in if required as it focuses on the day to day use of the software being deployed.

2.0 A Definition of Usability Testing

Usability testing is a method of software testing that measures a person’s day-to-day usage of a certain software product. The software testing techniques that are used in this type of testing will ultimately answer questions such as:

“How easy is it to use the software?”

“Was the user satisfied or dissatisfied with their experience?”

“Was the software intuitive and easy to use?”

“Did the software deliver what the project initiation document specified?”

These questions along with many others will be answered, addressed and ultimately resolved as your users get used to the software and any defects resolved.

2.1 Tip

Don’t be overly concerned about the technical steps that will be involved. As a Project Manager, you are not expected to be an expert. It is good to be aware of all the steps involved in software testing, but unless you are managing a very small project, you will have a Test Lead to do the real work. Failing that, remember that the role of a business analyst is also to be heavily involved in any testing which needs to be done.

3.0 Usability Testing Scenarios

Whilst running usability testing scenarios, your users will play the role of the end-user. They will be taught how to effectively run the software through its paces so that they know how to use it and also understand how to properly document any defects they find. The aim is not to highlight any shortcomings of the developers that are working on your project. Rather, it is beneficial to the development team as it gives them a glimpse into issues experienced by users and how to resolve them before it is deployed.

4.0 Additional Software Testing Technique Concepts

In addition to Usability Testing, which is at the core of the various stages of software testing, you need to be aware that testing in general is an extremely important area of the project management lifecycle. Other types of testing you may encounter include:
  • Security Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • System Stress Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • Non Functional Testing
  • Functional Testing
  • Customer Acceptance Testing

Software Testing Techniques - Tip

Having at least a high level overview of software testing techniques will prove invaluable for ambitious project managers. This isn’t because it will give you greater credibility with your QA Team Lead, but because you will quickly find that testing is where your project will go off the rails in terms of project budget and increased project risks. As such having a good understanding of this area will only help you when you need to explain to your superiors what is going wrong, and how it can be resolved.

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