6 Best Practices to Execute a Successful Performance Testing Strategy

Vaibhav Srivastava
5 August 2022

There is cut-throat competition in the prevailing digital world with no room for unreliable and sluggish web and mobile applications. Since the beginning of application development, performance testing has played a crucial role in the production of error-free business applications. The fact is, in no time, all your time and efforts in development could go in vain if the users encounter defects or find it lacking with features needed in the contemporary world. With the immense rise in the number of organizations turning towards IT for the solution of their business-related problems, it has become crucial for them to shift their focus on performance testing to ensure the required speed, scalability, and reliability and to keep up with the consumers’ expectations. So, here are 6 best practices to execute a successful performance testing strategy.

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What is Application Performance Testing?

Before an application is ready to go live, it is imperative for it to work seamlessly without any complications. So, application performance testing is non-functional testing that helps QA teams check the system quality under various load conditions based on a variety of features, such as responsive rate, speed, robustness, stability, CPU, resource utilization, and scalability. It is an integral part of the application testing process as it provides testers with detailed, precise, and accurate insights into how the product would behave in response to users’ actions. One of the biggest reasons for executing performance testing is to find and eliminate the bottlenecks in the application’s performance and identify other aspects like slow response time, scalability issues, long load time, and downtime-related problems in the software that results in a bad user experience and in some cases, software crashes.  

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6 Best Practices to Execute a Successful Performance Testing Strategy

Understand Application and Choose the Right Tools

One of the best practices to execute a successful performance testing strategy is understanding the application and choosing the right tools for it. Before the test teams outline a testing strategy, it is equally important to get a thorough understanding of the application’s architecture, the competencies it offers, the conditions it is supposed to work, and its intended usage. And not just the strengths but the teams are also required to understand the limitations of the application. So, it is important for them to make a list of all the common aspects that might impact the application performance and create performance scenarios by picking the right set of tools.

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Test Early and Frequently

The biggest problem within teams is that they always think of executing performance testing when a user complains about an issue or at the later stages of the software development life cycle. Testing early and frequently is one of the best practices to execute a successful performance testing strategy. QA teams are required to opt for an agile approach that makes use of iterative development throughout the development process. In fact, they need to execute performance “unit” testing during the coding phase and then repeat those tests again at a more significant level when the application is ready for deployment. It is imperative to pass the application through an automated pass-and-fail pipeline. So, the codes that pass through the pipeline may move and codes that fail can be returned back to the developer.

Opt for DevOps Approach

As the name suggests, DevOps is an amalgamation of two terms, development and operations. It is a collaborative approach aimed to enhance the cross-functioning of different teams who are accountable for the entire product development lifecycle. DevOps promotes smoother collaboration, continuous communication, visibility, integration, and transparency between the development team (Dev) and operations team (Ops), making it one of the best practices to execute a successful performance testing strategy. So, after deploying agile and lean practices, application development companies implement the DevOps approach in their business process so different teams could work in both continuous and test-driven development environments. Developers, testers, and IT operations could work together to develop, execute, deploy and execute application performance testing as a team.

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Understanding Performance From Users’ Point of View

It is a pretty common tendency among the masses that performance testing concentrates more on the server side and the clusters responsible for running the application rather than understanding its performance from the end users’ point of view. The chances are that you may get a positive result when measuring the clustered servers’ performance, but probably a user on a single overly loaded server may encounter inadequate results. So, it is always a better strategy to not just include the server responses and experiences but to also incorporate the user’s experience. This ultimately is one of the best practices to execute a successful performance testing strategy. Actually, the testing process should record interface timings and each individual’s user experience systematically in sync with the metrics acquired from the servers.

Develop a Comprehensive Performance Model

When you measure the performance of an application, you actually test the system to understand its capabilities. This includes the planning about what would be the steady state with regards to concurrent users, average user sessions, simultaneous requests, and how the server is utilized during peak hours of the day. Other than that, it is also important for the QA teams to predefine the performance objectives, such as user acceptable performance metrics, application scalability, maximum response times, user satisfaction score, and the maximum ability for all these stated metrics. 

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Consistent Reporting and Result Analysis

For every organization, implementing consistent reporting and result analysis is one of the best practices to execute a successful performance testing strategy. Planning test cases, designing them, and carrying out performance tests are pivotal but not enough to develop a robust application. So, along with performing test scenarios, QA teams must also shift their focus on the reporting part as well. Systematic reporting helps teams to convey crucial insights and data for comprehensive performance analyses and is beneficial for developers and project managers to understand the outcomes of the application. Consistent reporting and analyzing results offer continuous help in rectifying the pesky bugs and future fixes in the development process.

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