QA sphere is believed to be quite a complex, multilevel system that has a lot of elements. Except for the main testing components, there are ones less noticeable but very important. We are talking about risk in QA.
Risk is an evolving factor that could potentially harm the testing process. In simple terms, the risk is an element that can complicate a situation. You cannot equate risk with a problem. A risk is something that could potentially happen, while a problem is something that has already happened and has a negative impact.
It is very important to predict in time, to determine the possibility of the risk and, if it occurs, to minimize its impact, so it does not become a problem.
Groups of Risks
Specialists of software testing companies divide risks into two groups: risks of the product and risks of the project.
Risks of the product are everything relates exactly to the object of testing:
- Data loss;
- Complicated specification or, on the contrary, inaccurate and rather superficial one;
- Product security risks;
- Specification change during development or testing;
- A complication of the functional elements of the product, etc.
The risks of the project include:
- Risk arising against the background of a decrease in the working potential of employees (illness of employees, their dismissal, or other similar reasons);
- Ignoring risks (an incorrect assessment of the project development scenario from the side of the team members working on it);
- An underestimation of human resources required to implement the project;
- Risks of test infrastructure (lack of electricity or internet for quite a long time, insufficient number of devices, etc);
- Communication risk (low communication between members of the project team, slow reaction of the customer to a question or clarification).
In addition to this classification, risks in the field of QA can be manageable and unmanageable. The first one includes all the theoretical negative manifestations that can be leveled. For example, this risk of communication can be reduced in the early stages of the project, initially explaining the mandatory rules of communication in the project team, and proving additional sources of information.
Unmanageable risks are those negative manifestations that are very difficult or impossible to manage directly. For example, it is impossible to predict when an employee will get sick, or the internet will be disconnected, or whether it will happen at all. Risk of this type can only be handled by creating an additional plan of action, in case they occur.
Thus, testing with the possibility of negative manifestation is called risk-based testing, which, today, is considered quite an important industry in this area. Both at the stage of test data and in the last modules of testing the ready product, it is necessary to plan and implement the probability of any risks, as well as options to address them, along with the study and analysis of the environment.
Process of Risk Management, Its Stages
The risk management process consists of 4 stages:
- Detection of risk. The goal is to identify the maximum number of potential risks that may arise in the process of working on the project. In this, testers are helped by work experience, consultation with experts, brainstorming, and so on.
- Risk assessments. When potential risks are captured, the people responsible for risk analysis assess the probability of their occurrence and the possible damage they will cause.
- Writing a response plan. After writing the possible risks, and their assessment, it is necessary to develop a plan on how to make sure that they (risks) do not become a real problem. Based on all this data, QA engineers can start working on a testing strategy, and the functions, modules, and elements where there is a risk of malfunctioning will be tested in great detail.
- Risk monitoring. The phase of detection of new risks, reassessment of previously detected risks, and, based on this, adjustment of the response plan.
Risk-based QA services are an important stage in the verification of any software. It allows you to optimize the work, prioritize correctly, and find important threats in the early stages of the project. This, in turn, contributes to the fastest possible identification and elimination of risks that harm the product.