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How To Optimize Regression Test Suite Effectively

Mobile application development is a consistent process requiring a lot of changes and enhancements from time to time. However, not all developers manage to create applications that perfectly meet their clients' diverse needs. According to different surveys, more than 70% of software work relates to application maintenance and improvement.

As the features or requirements change and the number of such changes grows, it becomes difficult for testers to perform regression testing. However, it is possible to automate regression test suites. Automating regression test suites will enable the testers to achieve better test coverage on a regular basis. Also, it enables the resources to focus more on the newer and more complicated application functionality.

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regression testing, optimize regression test suitesHowever, testers often face problems in the maintenance of the automated regression test suites. There are a few factors that affect the effectiveness of the regression test suites. Among them are cases when test suite enhancements get out of sync with the rest of the products or when tests are added to the suite with a short-term perspective, availability of redundant tests and more.

So, how to maintain the effectiveness of the regression test suite, or optimize regression test suite effectively? Here's the list of some tips that may help you out:

  • Regression Test Selection (RTS) is one of the most popular methods for test case suite optimization. This method divides the test suite into reusable test cases, retestable test cases and obsolete test cases. Apart from all these, it also creates new test cases that test the program for areas not covered in current test cases.
  • Another great way to maintain the effectiveness of the regression test suite is to have a good tracking mechanism between the features under development . This should be a consistent activity in order to maintain the test suites effectively as it would help test manager to verify the feature checklist and validate the test coverage for a feature that is being developed in the release.
  • The effectiveness of the regression test suite can be easily maintained by monitoring the changes to the test suite. A clearly outlined process will ensure that only tests that are useful to the entire testing strategy get added to the test suite, which ensures the efficiency and usability of the test harness at a high level.
  • Considering periodic cleanup of old tests is another great approach to maintain effectiveness of a feature rich regression test suite. In this scenario, all the existing tests in the test suite need to be analyzed for their effectiveness in a specific scenario. Also, there will be scenarios where certain features will not be supported because of the different product direction. In such cases, the relevant regression test suites should also be eased out. It will ensure robustness of the regression test suite for a long period of time.
  • You can also measure the effectiveness of regression test suites on a release-to-release basis. It will allow you to know the root cause for reduction in the effectiveness of the test harness if any, and enable you to take appropriate action on the same.
  • Collection of some metrics and their analysis could also be useful when it comes to the effectiveness of the regression test suite. It will help you get good visibility on the effectiveness of the regression test suite. You can consider different metrics such as percentage of defects found by the regression tests suite, their importance, etc.

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Apart from all these, it is important to monitor the way tests are added to the test suite. Moreover, you can also consider optimization of tests when the tests get lengthy or huge, evaluate different regression test selection strategies and plan and explore changes in the regression test suite framework in order to maintain the effectiveness of the regression test suite.

Make sure that you apply these methods in order to make regression test suites more effective. Have you tried any of these methods? Please share your experiences in the comments!

Prashant Chambakara is Automated Testing Consultant at Cygnet Infotech
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