Zombie Test Cases – How They Cost Organizations

ZombieTestCasesThe chilling reality is, old test cases never die, they cluster, clutter and disrupt testing and development indefinitely. But why?

Because no one can be confident that the old test cases aren’t necessary, no one wants to cull a case when it isn’t clear if it tests a vital piece of functionality or not, so most play it safe and keep all test cases on hand.

Yet it isn’t safe, in fact, the zombie test cases cause havoc and it is as if teams are stumbling around in a dark cellar. Okay, perhaps the Shaun of the Dead analogy has gone on a little too long so let’s look at some facts.

We recently worked with an international financial services company who admitted that testing teams would take days to manually check and change ALL the test cases for every single related change request, creating enormous delay.  This is commonplace, accepted practice even.

But it has to change.

To get an idea of cost, accumulating and working on redundant test cases soon runs into thousands of dollars but that’s not where the real problem lies. The zombie test cases DON’T test functionality.  Time and money pour in yet still bugs slip into production.

In one project, 326 possible test cases were identified. With Agile Designer™ installed, the zombie test cases were identified, cleared out and it was demonstrated that only 17 were needed to provide 100% coverage.

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Too many test cases are redundant but will keep causing carnage until the clear up operation begins. The good news is, it is painless and quick and is why Agile Designer is making application delivery a new and opportunity-rich reality.


This post was written by The Grid-Tools Team and originally appeared on the Grid-Tools blog.

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