Audit in Software Testing: Benefits, Types, and Metrics
By Neha Bharati, Community Contributor - January 24, 2023
Software development process involves a lot of elements and is a lengthy process. It involves thorough test planning, continuous feedback among many people. In all this, it becomes important to make sure the quality of the product is not compromised. That is why it is important to have software audits regularly to check the health of any software product. In this article we’ll understand what a software audit accomplishes and why it is important.
What is a Software Audit?
A software audit is a thorough review of a software product to check its quality, progress, standards and regulations. It basically checks the health of a product and ensures that everything is going as planned. It can be done by an internal team or any external independent auditors.
If the audit is performed by an external auditor, it can add some financial strain to the company and disrupt development to accommodate such audits. It is recommended to perform regular internal audits on the software to ensure that proper regulations are followed and all licenses are up-to-date as it can also save the company from unnecessary legal issues.
Benefits of Audit in Software Testing
- Helps in validating the testing process and identifies ways to optimize the existing process
- It checks for any mismatches between the requirements and the delivered features. There can be miscommunication between business and technical teams which can cause such mismatches. Audits helps in capturing such issues
- Ensures the development progress is as expected with compliance to regulations and best practices. It can also catch any potential risks to the product and help mitigate it
- Incase any issues are noticed, proper suggestions are gives to improve upon the process or the product
Types of Audit in Software Testing
There are different types of audits based on what goals are needed to be achieved for the product
- Internal audit: These audits are done within the organization
- External audit: These are done by independent contractors or external agencies
- Compliance audit: This audit checks if the process is within the given standards. If the testing process has certain standards to adhere to, this audit ensures that it’s followed
- Process improvement: If there are any changes needed for the existing process, this audit helps in identifying them. This is done by evaluating the various steps in the process and identifying any problems, and eliminating them.
- Root cause analysis: This audit helps to find the root cause for a problem using different testing processes. It is done for specific problems that require some attention and needs to be resolved.
Metrics to watch during an Audit in Software Testing
There are various metrics that are monitored during an audit to ensure that the expected outcome is being achieved. Some of them are:
1. Project Metrics
- Percentage of test case execution: It analyses how many of the test cases are executed in the testing process
Percent of Test Case Execution =
(Number of Passed Tests + Number of Failed Tests + Number of Blocked Tests) / Number of Test Cases
Read More: Test Case Prioritization: A Detailed Guide
2. Product Metrics
- Critical defects: This helps in understanding the current quality of a product
Total Percentage of Critical Defects = (Critical Defects / Total Defects Reported) x 100
- Defect distribution across components: There may be some components in a product that may have significantly higher defects than others, and it is important to identify them. This metric helps in analyzing the problematic areas and focuses on these issues.
Defect Distribution Across Components = Total Number of Defects / Functional area(s)
- Defect priority distribution: This helps in gauging the effectiveness of the testing process. Based on the priority of the defects within a component, it helps to decide which component requires more attention over the others.
3. People Metrics
- Issues per reporter: This keeps track of how many issues were reported by each reporter. It gives an idea of which defects the tester is working on, i.e., regression testing or identifying bugs
- Tests reported by each team member: This metric helps the management gauge each team member’s performance
How to perform an audit in Software Testing?
There are some simple steps to follow while performing an audit:
- Identify the purpose of the audit and what it hopes to find. By being specific, helps in getting optimum results and eliminates the problems efficiently
- Examine the testing processes being done and verify the current processes against the planned and defined procedures and guidelines which were documented as a part of the testing manual prior to the testing phase
- Once the testing process is verified, each of the test cases, test suites, test logs, defect reports, test coverage and traceability matrix are thoroughly reviewed
- Interviewing the individuals involved at different stages in the testing process to get a better idea of the current progress
There may be some online tools also available that can help in auditing the testing process for any product. BrowserStack is a real device cloud platform that can be used for software testing on various devices, browsers, and operating systems. It also helps in streamlining the auditing process using audit logs.
The Audit logs help in tracking key activities that occur within your BrowserStack organization account. If your organization has an account within BrowserStack and they want to perform audits, this is the perfect tool that can help with it. It helps security teams diagnose problems related to product access, account, organization settings, etc.
Audits help in improving the testing process, and it helps organizations keep a check on the progress of the software testing process. It is important to audit the testing process to identify issues and come up with better solutions which can help greatly in the long run. There are many ways and reasons that audits can be done, but BrowserStack provides a simple way to perform audits for companies. It is useful for companies to leverage such tools to reduce time and money to perform audits.