There are many factors that can impact the decision to stop testing. Budget, time constraints, testing levels, critical issues addressed, and even the type of testing that will be done all can influence when testing should stop. Sometimes it is easy to determine when to stop testing if the code has been changed with clear acceptance criteria and there is a budget for testing. It is often more difficult to decide when to stop testing.
Why we Test
Before we talk about when it is time to stop testing, let us first explain why we test. There are many opportunities to improve the product’s quality. Testing an application can help identify and resolve integration problems and defects before it is released to the public. Testing saves money because defects can be found sooner. A quality product will improve the company’s reputation and increase sales. Therefore, testing should be a primary objective to ensure that the product delivered is of high quality and will benefit both the customer and the business.
Common Reasons to Stop Testing
Testers may stop testing for many reasons. Here are some reasons testers may stop testing:
- End of the sprint – The sprint often determines the testing time. New features will be delivered at the end of the sprint, so testing must conclude for current code. However, this doesn’t mean that items cannot be carried over to the next sprint. It may be necessary to skip additional testing such as exploratory sessions.
- End of project – Projects can be terminated as planned, paused indefinitely or canceled without notice. It doesn’t matter what reason it may be, once a project is over and priorities have reset, it is time to stop testing, and move on to the next priority. This instruction is usually given by management.
- Metrics are met – Some projects include metric goals in their requirements. The test schedule might end when code coverage reaches 85 percent or no more bugs are found after a certain time.
- You have met the exit criteria – A test plan should specify exit criteria. This will include activities or conditions that must be met before testing can end. These criteria make it easier to decide when to stop testing. If time and money allow, testers may wish to do additional testing if they have questions about a particular area.
- End-user satisfied – It depends on the issue whether testing can be done at the point where the customer or end-user are satisfied. If the end-user requests a simple modification to existing code with a low chance of breaking, this would be an example.
- GETMO – The term GETMO (or ‘Good Enough to Move On’) is often used by testers when they have to make a business decision. Sometimes testers are faced with making a decision about whether to approve or hold up a release. They must also consider business priorities in order to determine if code is ‘good enough to move on.
Important to remember that testing should not be stopped until all bugs have been analyzed and prioritized. Not only must critical bugs be addressed before a release can be made, but also bugs that are less important should be reported and logged so they can be fixed in a future release. It is important that testers report and follow up on any bugs discovered in the system.
There are many reasons to stop testing
Sometimes testing can be stopped for bad reasons, such as:
- Frustration. Testers can feel frustrated when they don’t have enough resources, are faced with poor code, their teammates aren’t cooperating or for many other reasons. Frustration is a natural part of the job. However, it’s not a reason to stop testing.
- Development delays. Sometimes development can take longer than expected. Some testers will consider this a break if there isn’t any new code to test. It is better to keep working on test cases, perform exploratory sessions, update regression tests, and any other activities that are necessary until the product is tested.
- Inadequate requirements – Although it can be frustrating for testers to not have the right requirements, or poorly written ones, they shouldn’t stop testing other areas. This situation could also be a coaching opportunity. Tell the ticket author why you require this information. You can explain to them how you can test faster with a set of well-defined requirements.
- Too many bugs. Sometimes, more bugs than one tester can handle. This causes the tester to give in and abandon testing until all issues are resolved. This is no reason to stop testing. It’s a great opportunity to get in depth to document each issue.
- Poor Management – If management isn’t interested in the project’s success, it can make quality difficult to maintain. This is a situation that can be difficult to overcome. Be proud of your work and motivate others.
Balance GETMO vs. Releasing a Release
QA has a daily dilemma. How to determine if the code should be GETMO or delayed. It can be difficult to decide and requires input from management. However, you must have the correct information to share with others so they can make the right decision. This stage is often fraught with pressure from clients, product teams, and management. You, as a tester must weigh the risks and rewards of releasing the product. Although testers must be able to understand the business’s perspective, they also have a duty to ensure that a high-quality product is released.
To make good decisions, a tester must have certain characteristics. They must be able to make bold decisions and use their judgment when making decisions that are not popular. They need to understand each project’s uniqueness and also have empathy. The tester must be aware that releasing a delayed release is not their fault but will cause problems for others.
There are risks
Testing that is too slow or too late can pose risks. Testing can be stopped too soon and misses defects that could have been discovered. This can lead to customers losing faith in the product. Stopping too late can lead to a project going over budget, or delays in releasing the product, which can result in a bad reputation.
It can be difficult to decide to end testing. This requires specific wisdom. Testing professionals often face difficult decisions and should be able to do so with integrity as well as empathy. End of testing should be based on providing quality products that benefit both the customer and the business.