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What to include in a Regression Test Plan?

By Technocrat, Community Contributor -

Testing is an integral piece in a typical software development lifecycle (SDLC). At the start of building a product, meticulous planning is done to ensure that every piece of code that gets built is tested thoroughly through functional and non-functional tests such as performance testing, penetration testing, accessibility testing, etc

Every SDLC mostly follows agile methodology nowadays to build software. In agile, incremental changes enter the system. This means that certain behaviors of the software might be impacted due to the introduction of incremental pieces of code. If these changes are not detected early in the integration cycle, they might result in a catastrophic impact on customers who will eventually use your software. This is where automated regression testing comes in handy. 

This article will explore the key aspects that should be included in a regression test plan to ensure successful testing.

What is Regression Testing? (with Example)

Regression testing is a crucial step in software development that helps ensure that new changes or updates do not adversely affect existing functionality. 

Take, for example, a net banking application that you use to transfer an amount to your client’s account. You initiate the transaction, get a success message, and the money is deducted. However, your client doesn’t receive the amount, nor your account reflects the amount reversal entry. The plight of the customer and the anxiety can easily be understood. 

These kinds of issues slip through when testing is not thorough. Hence, testing your application whenever any new feature is developed for common scenarios before production release is imperative. Regression testing ensures no deviation from expected application operation is observed. 

Purpose and Scope of a Regression Test Plan

A regression test plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the strategy, objectives, and scope of the regression testing process. This plan should include a list of features or functions that will be tested, the testing methodology, the resources required, and the expected outcome of the testing process. Proper planning is crucial to ensure the regression testing process is efficient and effective. 

Regression Testing helps achieve the following:

  • Earlier detection of errors in the application before production
  • Preserves the integrity of the system
  • Maintain check of requirements and actual code implementation
  • Identify the impact of new features on the system end to end
  • Identify performance impact due to the introduction of changes

Objectives of the Regression Test Plan

If you’re wondering how to plan regression testing, sometimes you might confuse regression testing for retesting. Though retesting is a type of regression testing, both purposes are entirely different.

Regression testing is generally done before the application goes to production, while retesting is done after the product is released.

When you design a regression plan, ensure that:

  • Tests are comprehensive and cover all aspects of software
  • Tests are automated
  • Maintenance of tests is part of the plan so that they are most up-to-date.

Assumptions and Dependencies

We need to consider assumptions and dependencies when designing a regression test plan because they can affect the success of your plan.

Some considerations when designing a regressions test plan are:

  • A version of the application is the most stable version, and no major overhauls of architecture have happened
  • The test environment is configured to replicate a real-world setup, and all dependencies and resources are installed.
  • Test cases and test data are available and accurate.

Ensure your test plan documents all the dependencies and assumptions for other teams to collaborate and work efficiently.

What to include in a Regression Test Plan?

After you have understood the purpose of your regression plan, along with the assumptions and dependencies of the plan, you must go ahead with creating your test plan.

The following list describes elements of a successful regression test plan:

  • Test Cases: Define the test cases to be executed during the regression testing. These test cases should cover all the system functionalities based on the test scenarios and requirements.
  • Test Environment: Identify the hardware and software configurations required to run the regression tests, including the version of the app being tested, OS, database, and any other dependencies.
  • Test Data: Test data should cover all the possible scenarios and be consistent across all test cases.
  • Test Execution: Define the test execution schedule and the regression test timeline. This should include the resources required, such as personnel, hardware, and software.
  • Defect Management: Establish the process for reporting, tracking, and managing defects found during regression testing. This process should include the severity of the defects and the priority of the defects.
  • Risk Analysis: Identify the risks associated with the regression testing and establish a mitigation plan to manage these risks.
  • Test Sign-off: Define the criteria for test sign-off and approval, including the metrics and results needed to consider the regression testing successful.
  • Documentation: Prepare the necessary documentation, including test cases, test data, results, and defect reports.

With these key elements of a regression test plan, let’s understand how to perform it on a robust testing infrastructure. 

How to run Regression Tests on BrowserStack?

A critical part of the test environment is the number of devices and platforms where your application runs. Testing your application on varied devices and platforms ensures that the user experience of your apps is seamless irrespective of where it runs. 

Using BrowserStack gives teams access to a Real Device Cloud. Here are brief steps to go about regression testing: 

1. Set up the Testing Environment: Once you  sign up for a BrowserStack account, set up the testing environment. Choose the desired combination of browsers-OSdevices on which you want to run the regression tests.

2. Write Test Scripts: Next, you need to write test scripts that cover all the features and functionalities of the software application. You can write the test scripts using any popular automation testing framework, such as Selenium, Cypress, or Appium.

3. BrowserStack Integration: To run the test scripts on BrowserStack, configure the integration of your preferred test automation framework. 

4. Run Regression Tests: Once the integration is configured, you can run the regression tests on BrowserStack by executing the test scripts. Access a real-time testing dashboard to monitor the test execution progress and view the test results.

5. Debugging: If any issues are found during regression testing, debug the test scripts using the tools provided by the testing framework or use screenshots, videos, or logs of the test execution to analyze the issues.

6. Generate Reports: After the regression tests are completed, you can generate reports that provide detailed information about the test execution, including test results, test coverage, and defects found during the testing.

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