Integrating risk-based testing in industrial test processes

M. Felderer, R. Ramler. Integrating risk-based testing in industrial test processes. Software Quality Journal, volume 22, number 3, pages 543-575, 9, 2014.

  • Michael Felderer
  • Rudolf Ramler
JournalSoftware Quality Journal

Risk-based testing has a high potential to improve the software development and test process as it helps to optimize the allocation of resources and provides decision support for the management. But for many organizations, its integration into an existing test process is a challenging task. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of existing work and present a generic testing methodology enhancing an established test process to address risks. On this basis, we develop a procedure on how risk-based testing can be introduced in a test process and derive a stage model for its integration. We then evaluate our approach for introducing risk-based testing by means of an industrial study and discuss benefits, prerequisites and challenges to introduce it. Potential benefits of risk-based testing identified in the studied project are faster detection of defects resulting in an earlier release, a more reliable release quality statement as well as the involved test-process optimization. As necessary prerequisites for risk-based testing, we identified an inhomogeneous distribution of risks associated with the various parts of the tested software system as well as consolidated technical and business views on it. Finally, the identified challenges of introducing risk-based testing are reliable risk assessment in the context of complex systems, the availability of experts for risk assessment as well as established tool supports for test management.