What is Risk based testing?

Risk based testing is basically a testing done for the project based on risks. Risk based testing uses risk to prioritize and emphasize the appropriate tests during test execution. In simple terms – Risk is the probability of occurrence of an undesirable outcome.

This outcome is also associated with an impact. Since there might not be sufficient time to test all functionality, Risk based testing involves testing the functionality which has the highest impact and probability of failure.

Risk-based testing is the idea that we can organize our testing efforts in a way that reduces the residual level of product risk when the system is deployed.

  • Risk-based testing starts early in the project, identifying risks to system quality and using that knowledge of risk to guide testing planning, specification, preparation and execution.
  • Risk-based testing involves both mitigation – testing to provide opportunities to reduce the likelihood of defects, especially high-impact defects – and contingency – testing to identify work-arounds to make the defects that do get past us less painful.
  • Risk-based testing also involves measuring how well we are doing at finding and removing defects in critical areas.
  • Risk-based testing can also involve using risk analysis to identify proactive opportunities to remove or prevent defects through non-testing activities and to help us select which test activities to perform.

The goal of risk-based testing cannot practically be – a risk-free project. What we can get from risk-based testing is to carry out the testing with best practices in risk management to achieve a project outcome that balances risks with quality, features, budget and schedule.

How to perform risk based testing?

  1. Make a prioritized list of risks.
  2. Perform testing that explores each risk.
  3. As risks evaporate and new ones emerge, adjust your test effort to stay focused on the current crop.