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Static Testing Methodology

Static testing is time consuming and can be costly, and it requires complete buy-infrom the management team.

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Static testing is frequently overlooked as a viable option with only a quarter of the companies actually engaging in it. Many assume the time that would be spent static testing would be better spent designing or coding. They are correct that static testing is time consuming and can be costly, and it requires complete buy-in from the management team. While not always easy, static testing is not nearly as costly as fixing the defects introduced by skipping this important step. 

Introduced right after the requirements gathering phase, static testing is crucial if you want to reduce the number of defects in the system or application under test. QA Mentor has developed our own static testing methodology that can be implemented at any organization with our help. We use our proprietary checklists to validate and verify every single artifact in the SDLC. We can easily show you the potential ROI before the process begins, and then show you your exact ROI afterwards. The cost of a defect found during traditional testing is about 10-20x the cost of one found in static testing. How is this possible? It’s simple. It takes longer to fix a defect once it’s been coded into a functioning system. Finding the defect may take hours of a tester’s time, then additional hours to fix the defect that could involve more than one developer or DBA. Next, the fix must be verified by a tester once more. All totaled, a defect found during traditional testing can take 5 – 20 hours (or more) to fix and verify. Contrast that with finding that same defect in static testing. Fixing it requires no code changes and only takes 30 – 60 minutes. Sometimes even less, so the difference in cost is dramatic.

Static testing > Better Documentation > Better Code > Fewer Defects > Faster Delivery > Higher Quality > Happier Customers

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The cost of a defect found during traditional testing is about 10-20x the cost of one found in static testing. How is this possible? It’s simple. It takes longer to fix a defect once it’s been coded into a functioning system. Finding the defect may take hours of a tester’s time, then additional hours to fix the defect that could involve more than one developer or DBA. Next, the fix must be verified by a tester once more. All totaled, a defect found during traditional testing can take 5 – 20 hours (or more) to fix and verify. Contrast that with finding that same defect in static testing. Fixing it requires no code changes and only takes 30 – 60 minutes. Sometimes even less, so the difference in cost is dramatic.

Goals of Static Testing

As with any kind of testing, the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of defects in production. However, in the case of static testing, the goal goes further to attempt to reduce the number of defects in the documentation that the application code is based off of. By looking at the documentation before developers start their job, we can identify, anticipate, and correct software issues at the earliest possible time.

Static testing Methods

  • Inspections – Formal software inspections involve peer reviews of parts of the application that have been fully designed and documented. This is the most formal and time-consuming method.
  • Reviews – The application or module is analyzed to ensure that it meets the business needs.
  • Walkthroughs – This method helps to find anomalies, consider alternative approaches, and evaluate conformance to business or industry standards.

What’s Tested

Business Requirements Document (BRD)

Use Cases

System/Functional Requirements

Prototype

Prototype Specification Document

DB Fields Dictionary Spreadsheet

Unit Test Cases

Traceability Matrix Document

Test Plan Strategy Document/Test Cases

Test Data

Automation/Performance Test Scripts

User Manual/Training Guides/Documentation

QA Mentor Static Testing Methodology

INSPECTION

  • Most Formal Method
  • Moderator, Inspector, Reader & Author participates
  • Time Consuming
l

REVIEW

  • Conformance to Business needs
  • Checklists
  • Review logs
  • Follow ups
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Closure/ROI

WALKTHROUGH

  • Find anomalies
  • Dicuss Alternative approaches
  • Conformance to Industry and Business Standards

Goals of Static Testing

Identify defects early, when they’re easiest to fix

Reduce defects in production

Anticipate and correct defects before they’re coded

Save both time and money

Static Testing Methods

INSPECTION

Formal software inspections involve peer reviews of parts of the application that have been fully designed and documented. This is the most formal and time-consuming method.

l

REVIEW

The application or module is analyzed to ensure that it meets the business needs.

WALKTHROUGH

This method helps to find anomalies, consider alternative approaches, and evaluate conformance to business or industry standards.

How Static Testing is Performed

Use Cases Requirements Validation Checklist

This checklist seeks to validate that all end-user actions are identified, as well as any input and output related to them. It checks for the existence of step sequences for easy test case creation, and boundary, pre/post condition, and interface definitions. Alternate paths and inheritance issues are also touched. The more thorough and detailed the use cases are, the more accurate and comprehensive the test cases can be.

Functional Requirements Validation Checklist

This checklist makes sure that the Functional Requirements identify all necessary elements. Functional capabilities, user characteristics, constraints, inputs and outputs, calculation methods, and reports. It also looks at the database functionality, interface listings, and hardware, software, and network requirements.

Prototype/Screen Mock-up Validation Checklist

This document looks for matches to the use cases and requirements. It also verifies usability by validating the navigational flow, conciseness, and simplicity of the user interface. Both primary and alternate flows are checked for validity, and it looks for representation of all UI requirements.

Field Dictionary Validation Checklist

All input fields must have definitions in the UI and corresponding database fields. This checklist verifies that every field in the UI is defined well enough to create field level validation test cases. Both the form level and database level validations are expected, and the checklist looks for mapping to the corresponding prototype screens. Fields are check for min/max length, data type, list values, error messages, whether they are nullable, and any masking requirements.

Architecture Review Checklist

With this checklist, the architecture is reviewed for completeness and clarity. All business level processes are examined including development plans (in-house or offsite), database accessibility, server locations, network diagrams, protocol definitions, and load balancing. Test equipment is also reviewed.

Static ROI Calculation

  1. Calculate total # of hours spent static testing
  2. Convert those hours into a dollar amount – this is the amount of money invested in static testing
  3. Convert the # of defects found in static testing into the number of hours that would have been needed to fix them if they had been found in traditional testing (1 defect = 10 hours to fix/test traditionally)
  4. Convert number of proposed hours fixing/testing defects into a dollar amount that would have been spent
  5. Subtract the amount invested in static testing in step 2 from the proposed amount calculated in step 4 to see the amount saved by static testing

Let us help you today to save money and achieve higher quality by staring the QA process at the earliest possible time. Even if you’re still unclear about how Static Testing is performed, our QA specialists can explain it to you in detail at no cost to you. Don’t waste time and money fixing defects that could have been prevented with an up-front investment in Static Testing.

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