Regression Testing Strategy: 5 Common Problems & Solutions

Regression testing

Regression testing includes testing the entire application to ensure that the new software features do not break existing functionality. Regression testing is useful because it can help identify faults early on, where the cost of fixing them is still minimal.

A regression testing strategy is an effort a software tester puts to implement regression testing in order to ensure that it is successful and valuable to the company.

Regression testing is beneficial, agreed, however, it does come with some problems, which are important for a QA to identify and resolve. Let’s dive straight into them.

1. Regression Testing is Thought To Be Of No Use & Little Value

The Dilemma

Regression testing is not inherently helpful. “Why are we checking the same functionality we designed months or years ago?” asks the clueless management. Why not put your energies into innovative features that can bring in new revenue? QA teams find it difficult to explain the time invested on regression testing, and as a result, they often ignore it in favor of more ‘important’ testing tasks.

The Possible Solution

  • Educate your staff and supervisors on the benefits of proper identification of glitches and other regressions from one release to the next – code consistency, developer success, manual tester time and effort, and acceptance assessments.
  • Share custom scenarios with the staff and managers in which simple capabilities (such as a login) would cease to function, as well as the consequences for the company’s operations and brand.
  • Share data on the return on investment in early bug identification. The cost of repairing a bug in development, for example, is 31X higher than fixing it while the app is still in production, according to the Ixia slide table (check slide number 4).
  • Try to gather some data from companies providing software automation testing services (regression testing plus others), formulate a PowerPoint presentation – Your management will automatically be nodding heads on the importance of regression testing. 

2. Estimated Time of Completion

The Problem

Post every development phase, regression testing must be performed. Regression tests will take a few days to weeks to complete if completed manually (or even semi-manually) with a complicated product. In a world where development sprints last an average of two weeks, this can stifle growth. And if regression testing is completely automated, if it is not configured, it will slow down build times and become a barrier in the agile feedback loop.

Steps That Will Help

  • Automate all! If performed correctly, it will significantly reduce the continuing costs of regression testing. Try test case management tools. (We recommend Kualitee)
  • Prioritize tests and concentrate on parts of the program that are more vulnerable to bugs or change regularly.
  • If your regression tests take 4 to 14 hours to execute after you’ve automated them, needing a nightly install and disrupting your continuous integration period, optimize them! Many tools and best practices can reduce production time from hours to minutes. Consider using TIA (test impact analysis) to run only the appropriate tests from your regression suite per build where the code has been modified.

3. Regression Testing Is Not ”Attractive”

The Issue

There’s no getting around it: regression testing entails repeatedly performing the same evaluations. This will demoralize QA teams, leading them to fail, neglect, or misrepresent tests across time.

The Solution To This Problem

  • Regression tests can be automated (as mentioned above) to save time and effort.
  • Rotate the team so that no one person is doing the same thing over and over.
  • Educate testers on the relevance of regression testing and its long-term value to the consistency of their work.
  • Render the metrics for regression testing really clear to the staff and managers.
  • Make payments! Reward regression testers for being on track and ensuring the tests perform reliably with a bonus or prize.

4. Sky-High Costs

An Obvious Problem

Manual regression testing incurs a substantial manpower burden. To run regression simulations, companies must ultimately pay one or two testers’ salaries. Unless you are using open-source, which normally means higher implementation and setup costs, there is an initial expense of development, troubleshooting the regression test series, and tooling whether it’s automated.

Resolve This Issue By:

  • You already knew this by now didn’t you? 🙂 Automation! If you’re already manually running tests, the first thing you can do is automate them.
  • Using risk-based monitoring to prioritize tests and work on the parts of the application that are the most vulnerable or repeating frequently. 
  • Using quality intelligence tools or ask the production team what they focused on or updated in the last version. They will assist you in parts of the code where regressions are most likely to occur.

5. Visibility

The Conundrum

Often companies cannot explicitly identify their regression testing targets or the metrics that support them. Regression test is conducted by testers, although it is unknown how well it is achieved or what effect it has on the software’s stability and consistency.

Improve Visibility By:

  • Creating objectives, priorities, and testing metrics.
  • Making sure such metrics are related to effects that matter to the organization, such as a decrease in manufacturing defects.
  • Trying to measure the importance of fixing bugs earlier in the process by adding a dollar sum to each actual bug detected by testers early in the process.

Conclusion – Regression Testing Matters Like A LOT

Your regression test approach isn’t self-contained. Other tests are being conducted, including UI automation, practical tests, integration tests, and manual tests. In this context, what part does regression test play? What function does regression test play in reducing the probability of production flaws?

You need to answer these questions. And once you find the answer, you’ll either think about creating an in-house functional testing department or outsource this job to a professional company providing software automation testing services.