STARWEST 2022 Industry Presentation : Applying a Risk-Based Approach to Testing Mission-Critical Applications


Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 11:15am to 12:15pm

Applying a Risk-Based Approach to Testing Mission-Critical Applications

One of the most under-appreciated aspects of testing is risk. There is never enough time to do all the testing that would be needed for 100% coverage (this is true for automated testing and manual testing). Consequently, there is a tradeoff between spending time on different types of testing and focusing on specific features, modules or requirements. By applying a risk-based approach to testing, you can seek to optimize these trade-offs with a data-driven methodology.

In this talk I will discuss the different types of risk that you should be considering (technical, business, etc.) and how you can use the assessment of risk to create a test plan that gives you the greatest risk coverage in the time available. I will cover prioritization techniques such as business feature importance, technical code stability, test stability, user flow and critical service mapping to determine where the risk lies in each software release and what testing should be done.

The main takeaways will be:

  • How a risk-based approach to testing gives better outcomes
  • How you can use project metrics to create a risk-adjusted test plan
  • Practical examples of tools and techniques you can use to implement the test plan
Adam Sandman photo

Adam Sandman


Adam Sandman, who founded Inflectra in 2006, has been a programmer since the age of 10. Today, Adam serves as the company’s CEO. He is responsible for product strategy, technology innovation, and business development. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his family.

Prior to founding Inflectra, Sandman worked as a director for Sapient Government Services, where he was in charge of development with the U.S. Marine Corps. and other government agencies, and was responsible for leading many capture teams and writing whitepapers and position statements to build Sapient’s reputation as a leader in the defense space. He studied physics at Oxford University.

When he is not working, he can often be found giving talks at events such as NDIA Agile in Government Summit, STAR East, Software Testing Professionals Conference, and Swiss Testing Day. He is passionate about economic empowerment by helping to bridge technology opportunity gaps in the developing world.