Risk-Based Testing

Making sure the most important testing is done in the time available
1 Day Intensive Seminar Workshop

Testing is our primary means of reducing risks related to systems and software. By identifying and prioritizing risks, we can make sure that limited time and resources are used to test the most important things. After examining the elements of risk and classical means for dealing with it, attendees will review three separate approaches for identifying risks: the traditional project management perspective, conventional testing which is reactive to development, and Proactive Testing™ that drives development. Exercises enhance learning by allowing participants to practice applying practical techniques to realistic examples.

Participants will learn:

  * The elements of risk and risk reduction, and their relation to software development and testing.
  * Risks that project management tends to focus on.
  * Reactive risk prioritization approaches commonly practiced in the testing community.
  * Proactive Testing™ methods to identify commonly overlooked major risks.
  * Scaling the risk analysis to the size of problem at hand.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: This course has been designed for analysts, designers, programmers, testers, auditors, users, and managers who plan, oversee, and/or carry out testing of software products.



  • Murphy’s Law; O’Brien’s Law
  • Relation of risk to software and testing
  • Elements of risk
  • Business impacts from systems and projects
  • Direct and indirect forms of injury
  • Management and technical risks
  • Window of market opportunity
  • Effects of delivering poor quality
  • Software factors that increase likelihood
  • Classical risk-reduction techniques
  • Risk-based testing strategy


  • Evaluating risks of the intended tests
  • Why this approach is reactive
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Difficulties communicating importance
  • Translating into business outcomes


  • Traditional checklists for project managers
  • Late, over budget, poor quality
  • Lack of management support
  • Shifting priorities
  • Organizational/strategic change
  • Demand fails to materialize or is too great
  • Staffing difficulties and interruptions
  • Vendor nonperformance
  • Relying on new technologies
  • Overtaken by competitors’ innovations
  • Poor reviews
  • Fraud, security breaks, and sabotage
  • Software risks--or just poor management
  • Changing requirements and scope creep
  • Poor estimates


  • Advantages of being truly proactive
  • Prioritization demands knowing the choices
  • Proactive Testing™ Life Cycle
  • Structured model of test planning
  • Multiple levels of risk analysis
  • Project-level proactive risk analysis
  • Involving all the stakeholders
  • Identifying overlooked project-specific risks
  • Prioritizing and clustering
  • Defining tests that reduce the key risks
  • Letting testing drive development
  • Gaining user, manager, developer support
  • Identifying and analyzing lower-level risks
  • Differentiating user and technical views
  • Checklists to detect common risks
  • Risk analysis in test designs and test cases
  • Deciding which tests to emphasize
  • Risks of not testing some things
  • Metrics to monitor effectiveness
  • Improving over time

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