TechAIDBlogWhat is Context-Driven Testing?
By Alex Dillon 03/18/2019 0

What is Context-Driven Testing?

Have you ever wondered what is context-driven testing? What projects could be fulfilled with this methodology? When must you use it?

I want to answer all these questions in this blog article. Let’s start it!

What is context-driven testing?

It is a methodology based on the context; it mentions that the human part is the most important. It recommends testers choose their testing techniques, deliverables, documentation, and test objectives by looking into the details of a specific situation. It is very useful when programmers are not provided with enough documentation.

To successfully conduct this type of method, software developers must identify the intended market and evaluate the environment in which people are likely to use the product.

Context-driven testing is not a testing technique, it is a set of values within a testing methodology.


Context-driven tester

According to James Bach: “To be a context-driven tester is to approach each testing situation as if it were unique in important ways, and to develop the skills to react to situations with a broad and deep awareness of problems in projects and possible testing-related solutions to those problems.”

The idea of this methodology is that software testing must adapt to the nature of the project, its context, and must not rely on the simple application of good practices.



There are seven b
asic principles of context-driven testing:


  1. The value of any practice depends on its context.
  2. There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices.
  3. People, working together, are the most important part of any project’s context.
  4. Projects unfold over time in ways that are often not predictable.
  5. The product is a solution. If the problem isn’t solved, the product doesn’t work.
  6. Good software testing is a challenging intellectual process.
  7. Only through judgment and skill, exercised cooperatively throughout the entire project, are we able to do the right things at the right times to effectively test our products.



  • Humanist
  • Skeptical
  • Empiricist
  • Adaptable
  • Diversified
  • Heuristic
  • Ethical


Why use context-driven testing?


  • They can control the main challenges of test planning
  • Help clarify the mission
  • The product is analyzed
  • Analyze the risk of the product
  • Design the test strategy
  • Have a logistics plan
  • The plans shared with others


When not to do context-driven testing?


  • When others are entirely responsible for the quality of the work.
  • If the tester is working in a specific and unchanging context.
  • When the aim is to change the context.


Context-driven testing is effective if you…


  • Ask questions. It is important to get the project’s context and get maximum test coverage.
  • Plan ahead. The person in charge will increase the work efficiency, build rapport within the company, and generate more conversations.
  • Adjust your plan. It is necessary to adapt to strategy accordingly with new features araising.
  • Let stakeholders decide on the project’s completion. The tester may focus on testing and be relieved from responsibility for project completion.
  • Avoid applying any practice blindly. If it works for one project may not necessarily work for others.


And finally, best practices can, and sometimes should be, be ignored. As is the fundamental element of context-driven testing, you must decide whether or not they fit into each project you work on.

Meanwhile, take a break to learn more about what we do and how can we help your company to deliver value from QA with a context-driven testing approach. 




This article was written by Alex Dillon
CEO & Founder of TechAID
Twitter: @masterpiece91



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