What is PDCA in Software testing? and how is it related to Test Process Improvement?

Let’s say you were working on an E-learning project. And you completed the project before the deadline. Your management is happy with your work, but your Head/Boss has some questions regarding like:

  1. Can we improve the testing process?
  2. If yes, then how can we improve the testing process, so we can save some cost, and time in the next project?

In order to answer these questions, you must have a thorough understanding of the test process improvement.

What is a Test Improvement process?

Process improvements are relevant to both the testing process and the software development process. Learning from one’s own mistakes enables organizations to improve the process they are using to develop and test software.

Well, there are some common issues in any test project.

1. The testing cost far more than expected.

2. The quality of the testing process is very poor.

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3. The project management team is poorly executed.

Many organizations have realized that improving the testing process can solve these problems.

Even if you think you’ve done a good job, there are always others who do a better job than you. Because they have better solutions and better ideas than yours.

Any business wants to do the project completed with the highest quality, lowest cost, and shortest delivery time and Test process improvement help you reach these targets.

How to implement Test Process Improvement?

For any kind of testing project, the Test Manager can follow the PDCA model to implement Test Process Improvement. The PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) management method is a four-step process used in business for the control and continuous improvement of processes.

What is PDCA?

Plan-Do-Check-Act is what the PDCA stands for. The iterative technique is a management method that is used for improvement, controlment (determine), and continuation of processes and products. In simple words, it is a cycle of improving processes and solving problems.

The model can be used to solve problems, improve business solutions, and improve processes.

PDCA Steps

The PDCA cycle consists of four steps, which are explained below. : 

1) PLAN 

a. Identifying problems that occurred in the current project is the first activity of a test improvement process. The issues encountered in this project may occur again in another project. The primary goal of test improvement is to solve problems and find out the solutions in order to avoid them in the future.

b. Figure out what went wrong with the project. This will help you identify which improvement areas you should focus on and which test phases you should concentrate on.

c. Improvement actions are determined based on the set target. These changes should be implemented gradually and slowly over time because it is not easy to change everything immediately.

2) DO

In the planning step, you have defined improvement points. It is time to formulate a strategy for implementing them. In this proposal, you are required to answer the following questions:

  • What improvements do we have to make?
  • When do you intend to complete this plan?
  • What actions should be taken to achieve the goal?


In this phase, the goal is to see if the improvement actions were successful and if they achieved the desired target.

The most effective way to evaluate progress is by using metrics. Successful organization management requires metrics. The Test Manager measures parameters such as productivity and quality using data collected during test execution.

For example, before implementing the automated testing for the project, the productivity of manual testing was 10 man-hours. After applying automated testing, productivity is measured at 20 man-hours. It means something was not good.

In this case, the quality of testing decreased when you applied automated testing. Therefore, the proposed improvement may have serious results. In such a scenario, you should be more careful when selecting a testing tool.

Once again, consider the same scenario. The cost of the other project was over budget because your team members took too long to execute the test cases. You saved 30% by using the automated test tool. It is an improvement, but there may be some expectations from your boss.


Actions are taken based on the knowledge gained. The changes have been adopted, and the best solution has been implemented by repeating the cycle again.

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