What is the best Regression Testing approach?

New Thinking 18 May 2016 Christina Kim

In this article on several different test approaches for Manual Regression Testing and how they compare to each other, I focus on Regression Testing rather than general Test Execution in the SDLC.

This is because I believe we need to consider extra factors such as repeatability, transferability etc. to select a Regression Test approach and different approaches can be adopted under different circumstances.

I haven’t considered Automated Testing in this article, even though I’m a big fan of it. This is because I’ve found that project teams often don’t have enough time/skillsets/budget to build automated tests or regression tests aren’t worth being automated because they’re not always cost effective. Thus, we often need to build and run a Regression Test Suite with a manual approach.

When I started thinking about this, I asked:

  • What kind of approaches are there? And what are the pros and cons for each approach?
  • How can we choose the best approach under different circumstances?
  • Some testers ‘HATE’ Script Based Testing. Is Script Based Testing totally useless?

I’ve used three manual testing approaches – traditional Script Based Testing, Session Based Testing and Checklist Based Testing in my two years’ testing experience and created the following diagram based on this.

If there’s a test approach with all the benefits of those three approaches – low maintenance, high repeatability and low requirement for existing knowledge – it would be ideal. I haven’t come across one myself yet. Until I find one, I’ll decide on my Regression Test approach by considering the pros and cons in the diagram above and the project circumstances.