How to Maximize Test Coverage in Less Time and Achieve Better Testing Results

How to Test More, Save Time, and Achieve Better Testing Results:

Software testing is an essential activity in the software development and maintenance life cycles. It is a practice often used to decide and improve software quality.

Development is more systematic nowadays and organizations seek measures of testing completeness and effectiveness to show test completion criteria. Of them all, coverage is considered especially valuable.

Simply put, coverage is “What are we testing and How much are we testing?” 

Test coverage helps monitor the quality of testing, and assists testers to create tests that cover areas that are missing or not validated. 

Maximize Test Coverage in Less Time

Most teams base their coverage calculations on functional requirements alone. It is also fair because first and foremost an application should do what it is supposed to do. If not, its speed or security or ease of use – none of it matters.

However, if dedicated and independent non-functional testing teams are working on performance, security, usability testing, etc., then they will have to track their requirements all the way to execution through test coverage analytics.

Test Coverage and Code Coverage

Test coverage is often confused with Code Coverage. Even though the underlying principles are the same, they are two different things.

Code Coverage really talks about unit testing practices that have to target all areas of the code at least once and is done by developers.

Test Coverage, on the other hand, is testing every requirement at least once and is obviously a QA team activity.

What really qualifies to be a covered requirement depends on the interpretation of each team.

For example: Some teams call a requirement covered if there is at least one test case against it. Sometimes, it is covered if at least one team member is assigned to it. Or, if all the test cases associated with it are executed.

  • If there are 10 requirements and 100 tests created – when these 100 tests target all of the 10 requirements and don’t leave out any – we call this adequate test coverage at the design level.
  • When only 80 of the created tests are executed and target only 6 of the requirements. We say that 4 requirements are not covered even though 80% of testing is done. This is coverage statistics at an execution level.
  • When only 90 tests relating to 8 requirements have assigned testers and the rest of them are not, we say the test assignment coverage is 80% (8 out of 10 requirements).

It is also important as to when to calculate coverage.

If you do this too early in the process, you will see a lot of gaps because things are still incomplete. So it is generally advised to wait until the Last Build i.e. Final Regression Build. This will give a correct coverage of the Tests performed for the given Requirements.

Also read => What QA Tester Should Know About Release and Deployment Management Process

How to adopt a proper Test Coverage method?

Awareness is everything:

First things first, the QA team must know how much work is involved and where the design tasks are at. This way, they are going to be aware if more tests are to be added. To do this, you could use an RTM as is the typical practice.

=> Check this article out to know more about it and how to use it: How to Create Requirements Traceability Matrix – Exact Process with Sample Template

Secondly, check resource assignment and test execution process to see if everything is tested in the more effective manner.


A table such as below can be helpful:

Test TypeTotal CasesExecuted CasesStatusComments
Functional1008050 pass , 30 fail
Compatibility1005045 pass, 5 fail
Usability10010098 pass, 2 fail
Final Regression10010099 pass, 1 fail

How to make sure everything is tested and in the best way possible?

  • Every tester should be aware of the requirements and the testing methods
  • Prioritize your Requirements and focus your energy where it is most needed
  • Be informed about how a certain release is different from the previous one so you can identify critical requirements more accurately and focus on maximum positive coverage
  • Adapt Test Automation
  • Use Test Management tools to always stay in the know
  • Smart work assignment- Channel your best resources towards critical tasks and let new testers explore more for a fresh perspective
  • Maintaining a checklist for all tasks and miscellaneous activities
  • Interact more with your Dev/Scrum/BA teams to get insights into the application behaviour
  • Keep track of all your build cycles and fixes
  • Identify most impacting problems in the initial builds itself (when possible) so the later ones can work for better stability and reach those areas blocked by prior problems

Few critical areas and methods for effective testing are:

effective testing

#1) Resource jumbling: Exchange tasks between your team members. This helps improve engagement and prevent knowledge concentration.

#2) Compatibility coverage: Make sure you are aware and including the different browsers and platforms to test your application.

#3) Ownership: Make testers accountable and give them a free rein (with monitoring and support of course) for the module/task that they are working on. This helps build responsibility and lets them try creative ways instead of following the beaten down road.

#4) Deadlines: Knowing the release deadlines prior to the commencement of testing phase helps with effective planning

#5) Communication: Stay in touch with the dev and other teams in between release cycles to know what’s going on.

#6) Maintain an RTM: Acts as a good derivative to the Stakeholders or Clients, based on which the release schedule can be confirmed

Advantages of Test Coverage awareness for a Tester :

  • It primarily helps with testing task prioritizing
  • It helps achieve 100% requirement coverage or in other words, it prevents requirement leakage
  • Impacts Analysis becomes easier
  • Useful in determining the EXIT criteria
  • Enables a test lead to prepare a clear test closure report

Conclusion:

It is not always true that when you test more, the results are better. In fact, when you test more with no apparent strategy, you probably will end up investing a lot of time.

With a more structured approach, an aim at 100% requirement coverage and effective testing methods, you will not compromise on quality.

We hope the techniques outlined in this article will give you some pointers.

About the author: This is a guest article by Sundeep. He is having 7+ years of QA experience and currently working as a lead in Product based company.

Thank you for reading and if you have any comments, questions, thoughts and suggestions, please share them below.




Recommended reading

10 comments ↓

#1 AKHIL

Thank u for these information. It will help me a lot

#2 Ramya sulochi

Good Article and very understanding!

#3 Nelson

Hello,

If we want to load testing for live user then how can we check it for Both website + App.

I.e. we have load testing like 2500 user on one time on our website & app, then how can we check?

Reply Please…

Regards,
Nelson Patel

#4 sundeep

hi Nelson,

Load testing should be done on Local server always. First perform load testing on we and see how much capacity it can handle. If suppose the site is capable of handling 2000 users concurrently, then the APP should not face any issue with respect to network & server capacity till that level. All you need to check with respect to APP is the mobile version, memory / Ram details, Run multiple applications on mobile at once and see if the App hangs or crashes(to check device memory for the application usage).

One more thing you can check is while you run 2000 users on web while load testing, parallely you can open the app on mobile and see if the data loading or sending takes more response or is it fine.

Performance testing is majorly a analysis way of testing approach and we need to perform different permutations/combinations to check for the responsiveness of the application either web or mobile web or Native.

#5 Ahmed Fathi

Good article

#6 shalini

it is really nice and informative it is very much interesting thanks for sharing

#7 Gaurav Khurana

Very nicely consolidated information about the coverage part. RTM is one of the good way of giving information about coverage. The detailed the information in RTM the more you know about the coverage in the middle of the project

#8 Jolly

Thanks for sharing. Really good information. I would be really interested in seeing some thoughts on how to Maximize Test Coverage in Less Time and Achieve Better Testing Results for Adhoc Testing where we don’t have any clearly defined requirements. Any thoughts?

#9 Tamara

Maximizing ROI with software production by cutting the time associated with testing is a novel way of exponential growth. IOT AND IT’S IMPACT ON TESTING adds even more fuel to the fire. Development is flexible and simple in such an environment, allowing more time for spring-boarding ideas on even more innovative solutions. Try it out, http://www.getzephyr.com/resources/whitepapers/iot-and-its-impact-testing

#10 Pratik S

Great Article for maximizing the test coverage. These days various test automation tools like Selenium, Testing-whiz, Test complete, etc. are widely preferred for effective test outputs, resulting in better test coverage.

Leave a Comment