Software development budgets have come under increasing pressure within my company. We simply can’t spend more money than we have. One of the areas for cutting budget is traditionally testing. I have been looking into cutting cost in that department as well. But it’s hard. I know I have to cut cost, but I want to do it wisely. So far I couldn’t make up my mind and find a good strategy I could live with. As my problems are probably not unique I turned to my books and courses. It is there I found my new strategy.

I re-read my notes from the Rapid Software Testing course (by Michael Bolton) and found a useful mnemonic: RCRCRC. This stands for;

Recent: new features, new areas of code are more vulnerable
Core: essential functions must continue to work
Risk: some areas of an application pose more risk
Configuration sensitive: code that’s dependent on environment settings can be vulnerable
Repaired: bug fixes can introduce new issues. This reminded me on the Fault Feedback Ratio. Chronic: some areas in an application may be more sensitive to breaking

This mnemonic made me smile. I know the answers to Recent, Core, Risk, Configuration, Repaired and Chronic. This approach is less than the strategy “test all specifications” or “test only the new features and test the core”. The answers to RCRCRC differ for every application and every release, but that’s okay.

More inspiring mnemonics can be found at: http://www.qualityperspectives.ca/resources_mnemonics.html

Surprising what you can dig out of books if you read long enough, isn’t it?