Every time a developer makes a change to code, there is an impact on a system. The bigger the change is, the more it impacts the testing workflow. One small change can make software better and add a valuable feature but introduce huge issues to specific modules. It will make the system not better but worse than before.
Not taking into account the consequences of a change may lead to a disastrous result. That is why impact analysis is necessary. Effective impact analysis in software development is what your team should be thinking about before making any change or adding any new module to a product. Handle the potential problems and side effects before they arise.
The impact analysis helps to recognize the problem even before you make a change in a project. Thus, a QA can spend more time on a web usability test instead of searching for what has caused the issue in the already tested part.
Why Do We Do Impact Analysis?
Impact analysis is performed before a change is made to code, a bug is fixed, or a new feature is added or removed. It is made to predict the potential consequences in the system. No professional apps testing service organizes a workflow without an impact analysis process. Why?
- To evaluate possible side effects of a change.
- To identify the areas of a system that can be affected by a change.
How to Perform Impact Analysis in Software Testing
Here are the main steps of an impact analysis process:
- A team gathers to get information about a change that is going to be done.
- Developers and testers inspect high-level modules that are going to be affected by the change.
- A team inspects low-level modules and evaluates the impact. Developers can present a separate document covering the whole impact of changes for every module.
- A team identifies positive and negative impacts for each module. What are the benefits and drawbacks of the proposed changes?
- Since all positive and negative effects are discussed, a team can think about how to deal with them and whether they can be accepted or denied. How important are the changes? Should they be implemented? Can the side effects be avoided? How to achieve that?
Following impact analysis is very important for QA companies and testers. It helps them to decide on which areas should be tested first and which test-cases should be prioritized more. They do regression testing to find the problems in the modules which were caused by the impact of changes.
Let’s take a look at what an impact analysis meeting
What Is an Impact Analysis Meeting?
A team organizes an impact analysis meeting to discuss changes. With the help of this meeting, software testers understand the exact areas to test first to avoid a bug appearing in the production. During the meeting, the team is going to discuss potentially impacted areas in the product and the reasons for that. Usually, the meeting is conducted either by a tester or a developer. For example, if a developer is going to add a new module to a product, he/she has to inform the testers to ensure they check particular modules to avoid a bug in production.
To make a long story short, if developers add a new module to the product, they should inform testers about which modules can be affected in advance. At the same time, a product manager can also speak up from his/her experience about what he/she feels is going to be impacted by the change. Thus, an impact analysis meeting is a process when everyone involved discusses what features in the system may be potentially affected by the change. If you need any support, international software testing services like Testfort testing company help in this process by providing a specialist or a whole team of QAs, skilled and experienced enough in the area.
The main idea of impact analysis is to have a clear vision of the potential effects a change may have on a product. Developers and testers take action in advance. They manage any negative consequences before production. Of course, you can do a project without impact analysis. But neglecting it can lead not only to a failure in a whole project but also to losing precious time a team spends while going back and forth improving the problems after a release.
In other words, it makes QA specialists’ work process more efficient, allowing them to focus on usability testing or performance testing instead of looking for issues after every change.
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