What is Rapid Testing?
Rapid Testing is a powerful technique that can be used to complement conventional structured testing. It is based on exploratory testing techniques and is used when there is too little time available to obtain full test coverage using conventional methodologies. Rapid Testing finds the biggest bugs in the shortest time and provides the highest value for money of any testing methodology.
Why Rapid testing:
In an ideal world Rapid Testing would not be necessary, but in most development projects there are a number of critical times when it is necessary to make an instantaneous assessment of the product's quality at that particular moment. Examples include:
* 'Proof of concept' test early in the development cycle
* 'Prior to or following migration from development to the production
* 'Sign-off of development milestones to trigger funding or investment
* 'Prior to public release or delivery to the customer
How Does Rapid Testing Work?
Rapid Testing is based on exploratory testing techniques, which means that the tester has a general test plan in mind but is not constrained by it. The plan can be adapted on-the-fly in response to the results obtained for previous tests. The downside is that it is not possible to guarantee total test coverage, but the benefit is that a skilled tester can quickly home in on faults that would have eluded a scripted test. We often refer to exploratory testing as 'expert testing' as it requires a high level of technical knowledge and experience to be effective.
Rapid Testing extends the exploratory concept by making judgements about what faults to report and the level of detail to record. Once a fault has been identified, the time taken to investigate and document it reduces the time available to find other faults, so the tester may fail to find the serious faults if they spend too much time reporting less important issues. We refer to this as the 'quality threshold' and it is fundamental to the effectiveness of Rapid Testing. Many testers find it an alien concept but it is a necessary one.