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There is a big difference between a mobile testing strategy and a mobile testing plan. If you know the difference, your mobile software testing will be much easier and more valuable.
There are a number of ways of defining a strategy. One of the definitions that we’ve found useful is:
“Identify assets that have advantages that you can put into coordinated action to achieve your goal”
Or, said another way, list and organize everything you think you’ll need to achieve your mobile testing goal and why you think you need it.
Your goal should be clear enough that you can quickly see what is, and is not, relevant to achieving your goal.
For example, if your mobile testing goal is to release your game every week with new features and fixes, your strategy might be different from a goal to release a zero defect trading app. Already, you can start to see that you might need different Assets for each of those goals.
Your Goal Will Dictate Strategy
One of the first challenges in building your mobile testing strategy will be to clarify and tighten your mobile testing goal. Your goal should clearly show what is and is not important to include in your mobile testing strategy.
The biggest and best tool you can use to uncover gaps or weaknesses in your mobile testing goal will be relentless Critical Thinking Questions.
“Why is this important and what, exactly does it mean?” is one of the most powerful questions you can ask about your mobile testing goal.
For example, which devices should you test against? The answer depends on which devices your current customers or prospects are most likely to be using. You know that mobile apps behave differently on different devices and operating systems, right? You won’t be able to afford to test against every device out there – you’re going to have to make some assumptions and then test their validity.
The more you can refine your mobile testing goal by clearly understanding what is directly relevant (need to have) and which things are “nice to have”, the more effective your mobile testing strategy will be.
Wait Just a Second – Why Bother with a Goal?
You don’t really have to have a
goal to build a mobile testing strategy.
Your strategy could be “just test it”,or “get folks to bang on it a bunch”, or even “meh, just test it enough
to make sure it doesn’t crash”.
Those are all valid mobile testing strategies
and they have even been successful strategies – a couple times.
Here’s the problem that
happens when you don’t have a goal.
You Don’t Know When You Are Done.
So, unless you want to test forever or don’t really care about your app or your
customers, you’ll probably benefit from
the 10-15 minutes it will take you to build a good goal for your mobile app.
A List of Things to Decide for Your Mobile Testing Strategy
Since you’ve made it this far, you probably realize that your questions are far more important than your answers!
Here is a list of questions that you can use to help you narrow your focus and build an effective mobile testing strategy:
- Which devices are important to my target audience?
- Do I have to have the real device or can I use an emulator?
- Can I use a tool for testing and do I have the experience to use it properly? Which tool will meet my needs and how can I tell that?
- What network connectivity is required for my app? Wifi? Cellular Data?
- Which parts should be automated testing and which should be manual testing? What’s the proper balance and how will I know?
- Will I need performance testing for my mobile app? Why would I need performance testing and which parts of my mobile app are subject to network congestion?
- What are the security requirements for my mobile app and how do they need to be tested? What is the probability and impact of a security breach of my mobile application?
- What sort of UX testing do I need and who is best qualified to give UX feedback on my mobile app?
Whew! Those are not easy questions!
And yet, you do need to know those answers if you want to avoid a “just get it tested” type of strategy.
So, is there an easy way to get started and build a great mobile testing strategy?
Additional Considerations when Selecting a Mobile Application Testing Company
When customers are selecting a mobile application testing
company to work with, there are several key factors they should evaluate;
failing to do due diligence on your mobile application testing company of your
choice can lead to bad quality control and an overall negative experience with
your app. A good mobile testing company will improve the functionality,
usability and security of your app in general.
First, you should ensure your mobile testing provider has
trained mobile testers or test engineers. This should be a given, but dealing
with companies that don’t have trained mobile testers/engineers can be very
expensive in the short and long-term health of your app. A company with competent
mobile testers will have expertise in functional and usability testing. Additionally,
companies with competent mobile testers will ensure that test optimization is
done based on the current mobile device market.
Also, the company you work with should have the correct resources for your app’s testing. This can include a lab for device, emulator and simulator based testing. It’s important to talk with your provider about the specific tests you’re looking for and ask about any other testing they provide and how that can benefit your application. You should mention the platforms and operating systems that your app primarily runs on to ensure all testing is done across all verticals. The most important resource that a provider should have is test engineers, QA managers and other staff. For many businesses, it doesn’t make financial sense to hire more team members to their QA team so working with a provider that has all of the expertise you need is vital. With an expert QA team at your disposal, you can get daily status reports on your mobile testing and solve any issues that arise in the meantime.
Lastly, it’s key to work with a provider that understands your business goals and tailors their service to fit your needs. This seems intuitive, but when you get on a phone call with a provider, they should take some time to figure out your business model, specific application needs, etc. This will allow your provider to form the right QA coverage for your product and you can have a rough outline of how their services can fit your needs
A Simple Strategy is Simple!
One of the most common mistakes about strategies is that they are complex. Sure, your strategy can be complex but it doesn’t have to be complex. It depends mostly on the complexity and difficulty of your goal.
We prefer Simple Strategies and we can help you have one too.
For example, if your goal is to build a full-featured trading app for mobile devices, your strategy might be quite complex. But, if your goal is to launch an app that trades only 1 stock, your strategy might be simpler.
Our rule of thumb is that a strategy can be easily explained with three sentences or less. Sort of like this:
- we’re going to achieve THIS GOAL
- with these CONSTRAINTS
- by doing A and B at the same time and then C next and D last.
It should be clear and understandable to everyone involved in your project that doing A and B at the same time, followed by C then D, will achieve the GOAL within the CONSTRAINTS.
If it is not clear and understandable, then dig a little deeper, find the unknown or un-agreed upon aspect, and build a tighter, clearer strategy for your mobile testing project.
If you skimp on your strategy, you can expect to have problems with your plan.
If you invest wisely, and build a powerful but simple strategy, your plan will be obvious and tracking your mobile testing project will be very easy.
And, one more note about building a simple strategy – expect to rebuild it at least once.
Here’s why – the most unknown and uncontrollable part of your strategy will be the Environment. The Environment is everything around you that you can’t control. These can be as simple as a misunderstood requirement or an emergency family leave for a critical team member. They can also be as complex as a major business setback or the cancellation of a critical software license. These are all aspects of the “Environment” you’re working in and can have a big impact on your strategy. When the Environment changes, re-evaluate your strategy and rebuild it if the changes impact your mobile testing strategy .
Start with a Free Scoping Session with Me
I know, that sounds generous and it is.
And, we can do that for and with you in one of our standard 60-90 minute Scoping Sessions.
Most of our clients and prospects don’t have a quality goal prior to meeting with us. Only one or two have ever had a quality strategy when they first came to us.
So, we’ve become very adept at helping our clients and prospects define their quality goal and build an effective testing strategy.
We do this by gently asking you a lot of questions. Sure, we want to know the details about your mobile app and how you want it tested. We can and will do that for you.
And, we want to make sure we provide you with everything you need to achieve your goal. So, the first thing we do for you is clearly define your goal and then propose a couple of different strategies for you to consider. We’ll always recommend at least one of the strategies but we want you to know that there are different ways to achieve your goals and that you have the last word on how we work for you to achieve your goal.
If you’re curious about how a mobile testing strategy can improve your mobile app testing, achieve your goals and build your business stronger, please reach out and let’s talk about how we might help you. Send the form on this page to schedule a call, or give me a shout now at 888.254.9709 .