Testing Methodology Basics 101
Testing Methodology – Basics
Author: Misti Chancellor
Date: June 24th 2011
What is a testing methodology?
The Free Online Dictionary of Computing defines methodology as follows:
“An organised, documented set of procedures and guidelines for one or more phases of the software life cycle, such as analysis or design. Many methodologies include a diagramming notation for documenting the results of the procedure; a step-by-step "cookbook" approach for carrying out the procedure; and an objective (ideally quantified) set of criteria for determining whether the results of the procedure are of acceptable quality.”
Using this definition, a testing methodology is an organized, documented set of procedures and guidelines used to perform testing within the software life cycle. More succinctly, it is a way to put some structure around testing of a product within a project to help testers know what is expected of them and what deliverables are required and when.
What are the essential elements of a testing methodology?
- Defined roles and tasks
- List of required deliverables (templates tend to be helpful here)
- Links to related documents from other methodologies / source documents
- Common terminology
How does having a testing methodology benefit my organization?
- Creates common testing terminology for the organization
- Sets expectations for testing and roles involved in testing
- Gives insight to how and where testing fits within the software lifecycle for the organization
- Sets expectations for what deliverables will be received/delivered
- Sets expectations for when deliverables will be received/delivered
- Sets expectations for the quality of the deliverables
These should make the testing experience more manageable, which in turn should translate to more efficient and effective testing.
How do I use a testing methodology?
Use the testing methodology of your organization as a guideline for the testing workflow and role functions, and as a reference for documents and templates to be filled out.
Since the testing methodology and all related documents/information are typically located in one repository, make this your first stop for testing deliverables when assigned to a project. Work your way through the necessary portions of the workflow to accomplish your testing objectives.
 Dictionary.com, "methodology," in The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Source location: Denis Howe. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/methodology. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: May 16, 2011.