Software Testing Battle #1: Scripted VS. Exploratory

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Scripted Over Exploratory?

Testing methodologies have significantly changed in the last 10-15 years and scripted testing has become central. Today QA teams seem to be focused on making their apps meet the specs rather than evaluating app behavior by using wide app and business knowledge base and innovative user behavior simulating methods.

Among the possible reasons why scripted tests have become widely adopted in quality assurance testing are:

  • As technology rapidly advanced from Mainframes to iPad, the volume of needed testing increased drastically.
  • SMEs are not enough to catch up with the testing volume.
  • Project management practices improved and pushed the need to control budgets and QA outcome better.
  • Many IT companies still feel the pains of requirements management which pushes them to strengthen their requirement-test cases traceability.
  • With greater app size and multiple-app span of business process flows, such complex systems have posed a necessity to take up more process-oriented methods which scripted testing suggests.

Why Exploratory Still Matters?

While IT companies continue to ensure the higher product quality, the efficiency of defect removal is still not so promising. However, many quality assurance testing companies have started their transformation to become more efficient. IT gurus now are trying to analyze the situation and address this large quality gap between the planned and gained app quality with new strategies. It’s already clear that app quality is not just a QA department’s problem and the whole company needs the quality focus to raise its defect removal efficiency from the current rates. This can be ensured by the adoption of exploratory testing strategy. Of course, first it would have to be carefully tailored for the company’s business strategy so that to yield the planned quality improvements.

What about a Combined Strategy?

Despite most QA professional concentrate on scripted test execution, natural instincts of every tester pushes them to completely explore the system during the available time. Initiatives and structured methods can improve exploratory testing efficiency when combined with familiar scripted execution efficiently. While building your QA success strategy keep in mind the following ground realities.

  • IT companies continue their struggle for SME availability.
  • Continuing to supply QA resources aligned to the app or domain is not the best practice because the QA costs are increasing. It’s especially not worthy when testing costs are maintained and reduced compared to the overall project cost.
  • It’s difficult to track and measure the quality cost.

Anyway, despite these challenges, thinking beyond the test scripts is encouraged due to the increasing IT companies’ focus on app quality.