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Software Testing Metrics

Software Testing Metrics And How To Obtain Them

What is Software Testing Metrics?

Software Testing Metric can be defined as a quantitative measure that calculates the progress, quality, and effectiveness of the software development and testing process. It defines quantitative terms the degree to which a system, system component, or process possesses a given attribute. To understand metrics it’s like a weekly mileage of a car to be compared to its ideal mileage recommended by the manufacturer.

Types of Test Metrics Used

It’s useful to know the general categories of test metrics before moving to the lists of specific metrics.

  • Test coverage – It helps in understanding which areas of the application are known to be tested. Assuming that tests are of good quality, this metric can take care of the parts of the software which have a known level of defects vs. unknown. Examples of metrics in this category are Test Cases by Requirement Category, Requirements Coverage Percentage, Unit Test Coverage, Integration and API test coverage, UI Test Coverage, Manual or Exploratory Test Coverage, etc.
  • Test effort– Some of the basic facts about your test effort can help as guidelines for future test planning and processing. Metrics under this category include Number of Tests Run, Defects per Test Hour, and Average Time to Test a Bug Fix.
  • Test tracking and efficiency – This metrics elaborates on how useful the tests are in discovering relevant defects. Metrics under this group include Percent of Passed/Failed Test Cases, Percent of Defects Accepted/Rejected, and Percent of Critical Defects of all Defects.
  • Defect distribution – This metric lets us understand which part of your software or process is most susceptible to defects occurrence, and therefore it helps to focus more on the testing effort. This type of Metrics includes number, percentage or severity of defects sorted by categories like severity, priority, module, platform, test type, testing team, and so on. Many teams measure defect distribution upon per build, or at the end of relevant test cycles
  • Test execution – The metrics which take into consideration the basic measurement of testing activity which records how many tests were actually conducted and how many categorized as passed, failed, blocked, incomplete, or unexecuted. The main advantage of test execution is that the test team can visualize and understand it easily. This category of Metrics includes Test Execution Status, Test Run Results, and Test Results by the Day.
  • Regression – While doing the changes, adding features to the software usually introduce new defects which reduces the application’s stability, and loss of quality. This type of metric helps in understanding how effective the change was in addressing user’s concerns, without putting down the existing user experience. This type of Metrics covers Defects per Build / Release / Version and Defect Injection Rate.
  • Test team metrics – This Metrics measures testing the work allocation and test outputs for teams and team members. These Metrics include Distribution of Defects Discovered, Defects Returned Per Team Member, and Test Cases Allocated Per Team Members.
  • Test economics metrics – This metrics measures testing outputs on the basis of per staff, tools, and infrastructure used in testing. This metrics helps in planning budgets for testing activities and evaluate the ROI of testing. These Metrics include the Total Cost of Testing, Cost per Bug Fix, and Testing Budget Variance.

For Example, Suppose a Test Analyst has to perform the following activities

  1. Designing the test cases for project requirements
  2. Executing the designed test cases
  3. Log the errors/defects & need to fail the related test cases
  4. After the defect is resolved, we need to re-test the defect & re-execute the corresponding failed test case again.

In the above scenario, in the absence of test metrics, the work done by the test analyst will be subjective, i.e. it means that the test report will not have the proper information to know the status of his work/project.
With the help of Metrics in a project, the exact status of his/her work with proper numbers/data and that can be ascertained.

i.e. in the Test report, we can publish:

  1. In a project how many test cases have been designed per requirement?
  2. How many test cases are still to design?
  3. How many test cases are actually executed?
  4. How many test cases are passed/failed/blocked?
  5. How many test cases are still not executed?
  6. How many defects are found & what is the severity of those defects?
  7. How many test cases are failed because of a particular defect?

Apart from that on the basis of project needs, we can have more metrics than mentioned in the above-mentioned list, to know the exact status of the project in detail.

Metrics Life Cycle:

Analysis

  • Identification of the Metrics
  • Defining the identified Metrics
Communicate

  • Explaining the exact requirement of metric to stakeholder and testing team
  • Educating the QA Team about the data points need to be captured for processing the Metric
Evaluation

  • Capture and verify the data
  • Calculating the metric value using the data captured
Report

  • Develop the report with an effective conclusion
  • Distribute the report to stakeholder or clients
  • Take feedback from stakeholders

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