London software testing news UK

Software development, testing and risk

Posted in Software testing by testing in London on December 20, 2008


All software projects face risks. A risk is an event, which may or may not occur and which causes some sort of loss. The relationship between risk and software testing is straightforward. Because, except in rare situations, you cannot exhaustively test a software system, risk analysis reveals issues that can cause the most loss. You can use this information to help prioritize your testing effort. In this month’s column, I present practical techniques you can use to identify and analyze the risks involved with a software project. Let’s begin.

Although there have been several efforts to formalise & standardise risk analysis terminology, in practice different terms tend to be used in different problem domains. I will use the term “risk analysis” to mean computing risk exposure by multiplying the risk probability or likelihood by the risk loss, or to mean the overall process of identifying, analyzing, and managing software project risk.

In spite of the fact that risk analysis is a critically important part of software development, based on my experience, many risk analysis techniques are not widely known in the software testing community. If you search the Web, you will find tens of thousands of references on software risk analysis.

Risk-based testing

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