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What Is Retesting? When to Perform?

What is Retesting-ACCELQ
Posted On: 2 March 2024

Have you considered retesting when designing your organization's testing strategies? It is logical for higher-level management to question the need to discuss a retest specifically. In their opinion, the test cycle for a development project should ideally cover all aspects.

However, with the rise of digital-driven business models, the importance of quality assurance has never been higher. In this setting, leaders must grasp retesting and when to do it.

What is Retest?

Ensuring each step is performed flawlessly is critical for the final software performance. One misstep or bug can lead to a cascade of issues, affecting everything from user experience to system integrity. This is where the concept of retesting steps into the spotlight. It serves as a critical checkpoint in the journey toward software excellence.

What is Retesting?

Retesting is a repeated process that validates the specific code modifications or problem fixes implemented. Unlike conventional testing, which looks at the entire application, retesting focuses on one area.

After developers have fixed the flaws, testers must retest to ensure they are thoroughly fixed. Instead of testing the full program every time, they examine the bug specific areas. It sounds simple, but it is complicated, determining when and why to retest can be a complex question.

Characteristics of Retesting

Retesting is characterized by its focused precision and iterative nature, ensuring that software defects are thoroughly addressed. This process is distinguished by several key features:

  • Execution in Similar Environments: To ensure consistency, retesting is conducted under conditions identical to the initial tests.
  • Targeted Test Cases: It involves re-executing specific test cases that failed in previous tests, focusing solely on areas where defects were identified.
  • Manual Execution: Retesting is often performed manually due to its targeted nature, allowing for detailed scrutiny of the fixes applied.
  • Dependency on the Development Team: The initiation of retesting is contingent upon the development team’s resolution of reported bugs.
  • Granular Focus: Testers pay close attention to the functionality changes to address defects, ensuring the fixes are effective without introducing new issues.

When to do Retesting?

Retesting is conducted under specific circumstances within the software development lifecycle. Key scenarios include

  • Specified Bug Fix: After a new build release, the test team retests previously reported bugs mentioned in the release note to confirm their resolution.
  • Bug Rejection: If the development team rejects a bug as “Not Reproducible,” testers retest the issue to demonstrate its validity and reproducibility.
  • Client Request: Sometimes, clients request retesting to gain confidence in the product’s quality.

Example of Retesting

In this scenario, a user encounters a bug on the Facebook sign-up page where the "Sign up" button is non-functional. The following table outlines the steps taken from identifying the bug to confirming its resolution:

Step Action Outcome
1. Identify Bug User tries to sign up “Sign up” button fails
2. Report Bug User reports the issue Developers are notified
3. Bug Fixing Developers fix the bug Ready for retesting
4. Retesting Testers check “Sign up” Button works correctly
5. Documentation Record the process Bug resolved

This streamlined approach illustrates the retesting process for a specific bug, highlighting each step's importance in restoring the functionality.

Phases of Retesting

It involves a structured approach to ensure that previously identified bugs are effectively addressed and resolved. This process includes:

  • Bug Identification: Initially, testers identify and document the bugs encountered during testing.
  • Bug Fixing: Developers then address these bugs, making necessary code changes.
  • Test Case Selection: Testers select specific test cases that previously failed due to the identified bugs.
  • Retesting Execution: These test cases are executed again in the new build to verify bug fixes.
  • Verification: Testers confirm whether the bug fixes have resolved the issues without introducing new ones.
  • Documentation: Finally, the retesting results are documented, including the status of bug fixes and any observations.

Can Retesting be Automated?

Yes, retesting can be automated for well-defined and specific bug fixes. Automated test scripts can be reused or modified for efficient validation. Integration into regression suites and CI/CD pipelines enhances this process. However, the decision to automate should weigh the bug's complexity and the potential impact on software functionality.

How to Perform Retesting?

Performing automated retesting involves several key steps to ensure efficiency and accuracy in verifying bug fixes:

  • Identify Bugs: Start with a clear list of bugs that have been fixed and are ready for retesting.
  • Update Test Scripts: Modify existing automated test scripts or create new ones specifically designed to test the fixes applied to the bugs.
  • Set Up Test Environment: Ensure the test environment mirrors the conditions under which the bug was initially found to guarantee accurate retesting results.
  • Execute Automated Tests: Run the updated or new automated test scripts against the fixed software build. This can be done manually or as part of an automated CI/CD pipeline.
  • Analyze Results: Carefully review the results of the automated tests to confirm that the bugs have been successfully fixed without introducing new issues.
  • Document Findings: Record the outcomes of the retesting process, including any unresolved issues or new bugs discovered during testing.

Things to Consider While Doing Retesting

When conducting retesting, it's crucial to keep several factors in mind to ensure the process is effective and thorough:

Scope of Retesting

Start by defining the scope of retesting, which enables focusing on the areas affected by the bugs. To save time and resources, avoid unnecessary testing outside this scope.

Test Case Accuracy

Ensure the test cases used for retesting accurately reflect the conditions under which the bugs were initially discovered. This includes using the same data and settings.

Environment Consistency

The test environment should closely replicate the original environment where the bugs were found, including hardware, software, and network configurations.

Regression Testing

While not part of retesting, plan for subsequent regression testing to check for bug fixes and unintended impacts on other software parts.

Documentation

Maintain detailed documentation of the retesting process, including which tests were run, the results, and any new issues identified. This documentation is vital for future reference and for stakeholder review.

Best Practices of Retesting

Best Practice Description
Prioritize Bugs Focus on high-priority bugs affecting critical functionalities first.
Automate Repetitive Tests Automate testing for clear-cut, well-defined bugs to save time and increase accuracy.
Collaborate with Developers Work closely with developers to understand bug fixes and potential impacts, refining the retesting strategy.
Verify Bug Fixes Thoroughly Test not just for the immediate fix but also for potential side effects in related functionalities.
Document Everything Maintain detailed records of the retesting process, including test cases, results, and any new issues discovered.

Conclusion

The significance of retesting cannot be overlooked. Enterprises must balance comprehensive testing efforts with the focused approach required for retesting. Integrating a high level of automation into testing strategies is key to this balance. ACCELQ's end-to-end test automation platform stands ready to support your enterprise in enhancing testing efficiency while fully embracing retesting.

Suma Ganji

Senior Content Writer

Expertly navigating technical and UX writing, she crafts captivating content that hits the mark every time. With a keen SEO understanding, her work consistently resonates with readers while securing prime online visibility. When the day's work ends, you'll find her immersed in literary escapades in her quaint book house.

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