How to Optimize Your Functional Testing Process Flow

by Thijs Kok, on May 11, 2023

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If you ask a room full of quality assurance (QA) professionals about which element of their testing process flow is the most time-consuming and how effective they believe it is in identifying defects, you’re likely to get a wide range of answers.

That’s exactly how the data plays out in TestMonitor’s own survey results. In 2021, there was a near-even distribution across the traditional stages of software testing, from designing tests to analyzing results. It’s no wonder that 40 percent of the respondents stated that they were at most “moderately satisfied” with the quality of their testing.

Instead of doing more of the same, many teams have begun to explore the benefits of test optimization, which helps QA professionals to get the most out of their functional testing while also ensuring a consistent, thorough, and reliable process is being used.

Where should your team start dissecting your current testing process flow and  sequencing the implementation of improvements without throwing the entire baby out with the bathwater?

Here are some key ways to approach your functional testing optimization effort for a more efficient and effective QA program.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Functional Testing Process Flow

No matter where your team is on the software testing maturity curve, here are five key ways to dial in your functional testing process flow.

1. Focus on high-risk areas.

Focusing on high-risk areas can optimize software testing by allowing resources and testing focus to be allocated where they are likely to be needed the most. By identifying areas with the highest likelihood of security, usability, and functional defects, teams can spot and address potential issues early in the development process and improve the quality of the final product.

2. Understand administrative friction points.

In addition to focusing on high-risk areas, understanding administrative friction points and simplifying and automating these tasks is a quick way to optimize software testing flows. Administrative friction points are the administrative and coordination tasks that take up valuable time and resources such as:

  • Reporting
  • Defect tracking
  • Test-run scheduling
  • Data management

By identifying and automating these tasks with a test management tool, you can simplify the testing process and reduce the time and resources needed to complete them, freeing up more time and resources to focus on actual testing tasks.

3. Evaluate your process to collect and map requirements.

Software development, testing, and user acceptance are ultimately driven by how well initial requirements are collected and woven throughout the project lifecycle. Reviewing this process and the tools used to enable it can not only make it easier for your team to collect and map requirements but also improve the quality of test cases. Together, these steps can reduce the risk of costly rework, missed design requirements, and customer dissatisfaction, ultimately saving time and resources in the long run.

4. Leverage test automation.

Using test automation for simple, repetitive tasks and manual testing for more complex scenarios is another effective way to optimize software testing. Test automation is ideal for repetitive tests that require a high degree of accuracy and consistency such as regression testing, performance testing, and load testing. Automating these tasks can save time and resources, reduce errors, and allow testers to focus on more complex scenarios.

On the other hand, tests that require subjective evaluation to uncover unexpected issues and edge cases can be left for manual testing. By combining both manual and automated testing, teams can achieve a more comprehensive and effective testing process that covers all the necessary scenarios while optimizing time and resources.

5. Promote a culture of continuous improvement and innovation across your team.

Encouraging team members to seek out new approaches, tools, and techniques—and to share them with their team—fosters collaboration and introduces new testing insights and strategies. By continuously striving to improve and innovate, your team can stay up-to-date with the latest testing trends and best practices, ultimately resulting in a higher-quality final product. At the same time, this environment builds a culture of learning and growth, which can lead to higher team engagement and retention.

A Road Map to Implementing Functional Testing Process Flow Changes

Ready to get started? Here is a sample action plan your team can use to jump-start your profess flow optimization:

  • Document and analyze the current process.
    • Capture the process from end to end, including all inputs and outputs (human and technical).
    • Collect current metrics.
  • Identify the areas that need improvement.
    • Utilize subjective and objective measures and feedback.
    • Document suggested changes to the process stage.
  • Prioritize areas based on impact and risks.
    • Identify the areas that will have the greatest impact on the testing process.
    • Assess the level of risk associated with each area.
  • Plan, pilot, and implement changes.
    • Sequence proposed changes.
    • Pilot proposed changes to evaluate their potential impact.
    • Finalize, document, train on, and introduce the change.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the changes.
    • Measure and analyze the impact of the changes on the testing process and its outcomes.
    • Use feedback from team members and stakeholders to refine and improve the changes over time.

Boost Your Software Testing from End to End with TestMonitor

Looking for a test management tool to take your team's software testing to the next level? 

TestMonitor is designed by software testers for software testers, boasting a user-friendly interface, powerful collaboration features, and comprehensive testing capabilities, including built-in test case libraries and robust defect tracking. From requirements management to test execution and reporting, TestMonitor has QA teams covered, all packaged in a secure, robust cloud environment to meet your team where they are.

Want to see more of why TestMonitor is one of the best test management tools on the market? Contact one of our experts for a free 14-day demo today!

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