In our previous post, we defined context-driven testing, or contextual quality assurance, as an approach that puts the context of the software in development at the core of the testing process. This methodology has been around for more than a decade, but it’s only beginning to gain ground in the healthcare technology marketplace.
Utilizing the context-driven testing approach is no easy task. It requires an experienced and knowledgeable testing team capable of using both skill and judgment to define and determine the type of data that needs to be collected, to interview customers about their experience using the product and gather their feedback, and to create and conduct exploratory tests.
Why would an organization want to divert valuable resources to context-driven testing? Because it can provide organizations with helpful insights about the product in development and help them accurately assess how to tackle issues reported by users as they arise, according to Krishna Prasad, director of delivery for emids.
Red Herring, an online publication that covers emerging technologies in the global innovation economy, named context-driven testing among the top software testing trends of the future in a 2015 post. Incorporating this type of testing into software projects “means that (quality assurance teams) will be covering the project from more diverse angles, improving skill development and ensuring that users get what they expect … boosting tester skills through this approach can provide them with an arsenal for any context.”
Specifically, context-driven testing allows organizations to:
- Gain a better understanding of views and real-time issues faced by users. Because context-driven testing requires organizations to collect real production data, either through a technology-enabled or people-centric approach, they have actual insight into the product, how well it works, and how it is being used. Context-driven testing validates the behavior, perspective, acceptance and satisfaction levels of users and the way they are accessing the product or system, rather than simply evaluating whether the feature is performing as expected without glitches.
- Address challenges that occur when using the technology or incorporating it into a user’s workflow. If a tool is prone to glitches or isn’t easy to use, user adoption rates can plummet. Knowing these frustrations ahead of a rollout can help reduce risk for user acceptance. By engaging with users, contextual QA can also help boost the confidence users have in the product and clarify their questions about it.
- Develop a clear plan for improving the product and its environment. Context-driven testing can help organizations discover areas for enhancement beyond what regular testing can provide.
View our whitepaper for more on the basics of context-driven testing, its potential, and how working with an experienced IT provider can help organizations implement this methodology successfully.