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Developing Effective Test Strategies

By Kouros Aliabadi 7th Dec 2022

A good test strategy is the foundation of any high-quality software delivery process.

If done well you should have a clear, documented set of principles and practices that demonstrate how you are going to ensure the software your teams are building meets expectations, delivers value and is done quickly and efficiently. If done poorly, you risk losing out to competitors through the slow speed of change, wasting time and money building the wrong things or delivering a poor customer experience through a lack of reliability and overall product quality.

We take a common sense approach to test strategies, and build them to follow the following core principles:

Valuable – Focusing on what is most valuable to you and your customers.

Clear – Communicate to those involved what checks and measures are in place, then if a team or release is going to skip some of these checks, provide a simple justification.

Specific – Have a clear purpose for your testing activities and try to keep them separate, both for the tests themselves and also for your environments. Then use the right tool for the job. If all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

Shared – Be open, inclusive and empathetic. Everyone wants a high-quality product, we just all have slightly different viewpoints. This doesn’t mean someone else’s viewpoint is wrong, we just need to understand it.

Sounds sensible enough right? But how do we turn this into something your teams can follow?

Below are some of the principles and practices we will look to help you implement, that will help you focus on building high-value products, efficiently:


Use effective conversation and Test First Approaches. Understand what it is you really care about with a given change. Then create specific examples and define how you would measure success.

Create an automation strategy that balances both where the value of your product is, as well as how it is built in your system architecture. There are no blanket rules about how you should structure automation tests! It all depends upon what is valuable and where the risks lie.


Document and share your test strategy! Too often are strategy documents doomed to sit unread in your team’s inbox. One solution to avoid this we recommend is adding your strategy straight into your code repositories. Then ask the team to review it as a pull request and get their opinions.

Set simple standards for each phase of testing, like quality gates. Each one should have a clear definition, such as a definition of ready, done, and what classifies something as a bug. Where possible make these definitions enforceable, using mandatory fields in tools like Jira and GitHub.


Create your test environments with a clear purpose. It is possible now thanks to the modern tools we have to create ephemeral and elastic environments. We should make the most of this by aligning each test environment to a specific type or phase of testing.


Agile recommends light documentation, not no documentation. We look to create lightweight and automated governance and reporting.

Demonstrate your test strategy with the development teams regularly, as things change keep them updated. You will be surprised at the unique ideas people have when you start to include them.

The value of delivering a good test strategy and socialising it between your engineering teams can not be underestimated. Organisations that do so, find the following benefits:

  • Consistency in tooling and development approaches
  • Clear Quality metrics and measurements of success
  • Easier onboarding for new engineering teams
  • More frequent releases across your engineering teams

How we can help?

A Test Strategy is the foundation of your development process. In fact, we are of the opinion you can not have a modern development without a good Test Strategy. Our ClearRoute team can help you and your engineering teams devise and implement a Test Strategy that is fit for your environment and will help you realise the benefits previously stated. Our QCEs can help you build a strategy that will include all of the following, and more:

  • Test Automation – We will build you a strategy with the correct tooling and technologies for your environment and engineering teams covering End to End, Integration, Functional and Unit Testing enabling you to release with confidence.
  • Performance Testing – We will work with you to determine end-user Non-Functional Requirements and an implementation approach so your application can respond appropriately to load.
  • Continuous Security – Shift left security scanners and configurations to keep your software up to date and secure before ever reaching production.
  • Accessibility Testing – With neurodiversity becoming increasingly important, we implement tooling to ensure your applications remain accessible to your end users.

At ClearRoute, we understand the challenges organisations face around getting testing right.

We have the experience to help organisations deliver software faster without compromising quality. For teams looking to learn more, please get in contact.