“If you Don’t Invest in Risk Management, it doesn’t matter what Business you’re in, it’s a Risky Business” - Gary Cohn
The act of software development is not the outcome of a few unplanned, spontaneous actions. The Software Development Life Cycle is an elaborate and detailed procedure, of which the phase of Software Testing is a crucial one. It helps in determining the quality requirement and standards of a specific software product. Now imagine a situation, where you have expended considerable amount of resources, time and effort in order to push a product towards its launch, only to find a single defect in the production, which can ruin all your toil and labor. So how to save yourself? The answer lies in practising Risk Management in Software Testing. But what is Risk Management in Testing? Let us try to explore.
In this blog, we shall explore the concept of Risk and Risk Management in Testing. We shall also look at the Risk Management Examples in Software Testing, the different and varied kinds of risks which might emerge as well as the Risk Management Process in Software Testing.
What is Risk and Risk Management in Software Testing?
Risk can be understood as the probability/possibility of the occurrence of an unwanted/undesirable event or an encounter with an adverse result. The process of Risk Analysis entails the identification of risks associated with the Testing project. Failure to mitigate risks can result in dissatisfied customers, negative cost impact, adversarial user experience as well as loss of clients. Hence, organizations seek to conduct Risk Based Testing.
Risk Based Testing can be understood as an approach of conducting relevant testing for the identification of business risks which have the potential to pose significant damage to the organization’s stature. The objective of RBT is to detect risks, early on in the life cycle of a software product and accordingly, develop appropriate mitigation strategies. The RBT approach uses the basis of prioritization for determining the degree of risk associated with different modules, features or functionalities of a product and accordingly decide upon which aspects of the end-product needs to be tested and addressed.
So what is Risk Management in Testing? Risk Management in Software Testing refers to the process of detecting, evaluating and prioritizing risks in order to diminish, regulate and control the possibility of undesirable outcomes. Hence, the Risk Management Process in Software Testing basically prepares us to comprehend, prevent, identify and overcome risks.
Different Categories of Risks
In this section, we shall look at some of the prominent kinds of risks associated with a software project.
1. Project Risk
This category includes all those risks which have the potential to stall or negatively affect the progress of a project.
- Organizational Risk
This category includes risks which are primarily associated with your testing team or the human resource of your organization. It might be in the form of scarcity of manpower, lack of skilled personnel and so on.
- Technical Risk
It includes the possibility of loss which might be incurred as a result of execution of a technical process.
- Business Risk
This is generally a risk which emanates from an external party and is not from the project under consideration. It might come from the customers or might be the result of any untoward incident which the Company faces. For instance, financial loss for the Company might push the top management in slashing project budget which will only result in aggravating problems for those responsible for executing the project.
2. Product Risk
This category includes all those risks which might result in the failure of a software product to meet the expectations and needs of the stakeholders, customers or users. It is essentially associated with the functionality of a product and might be in the form of Security Concerns, Performance Issues, Crash Reports and so on.
In addition of these major categories of risks, there are certain other variants of risks as well. Such as:
- Scheduling Risks: It arises when projects are not completely or efficiently scheduled for meeting the deployment deadline.
- Budget Risk: It arises when the top management ends up inaccurately estimating the required investment.
- Operational Risk: It includes system failures, ineffective processing or unforeseen circumstances.