What is Regression Testing
September 26, 2019

What Is Regression Testing?

Continuous Testing

Regression testing is important. Here, we define what regression testing is and give you an overview of how to do it. 

What Is Regression Testing? A Definition

Regression testing is software testing used to confirm that recent changes — either to the program or code — didn’t negatively impact the existing features of the software.

What Is Regression Testing in Agile?

Regression testing in Agile is especially critical to verify that changes didn't impact existing features.

It keeps teams focused on innovation through new features and releases. It reveals defects early on in the process. This reduces risk as well as the time it takes developers to fix them.

Why Automation Regression Testing Is Important

As software features are released at record pace, regression testing has become even more crucial. New updates are useless if they break other program features. Companies must make sure their software is performing at peak potential with every single update they release.  

It can be tough to keep up with all the requirements changes, feedback from production, and the timing of new software iterations. It’s difficult to stay up to date — and more importantly — to appropriately adapt.

That’s why you need automation for regression testing.  

The Benefits of Regression Testing 

Regression testing is an essential piece of the testing lifecycle and DevOps process. 

  • Agile regression testing helps find major defects after an update and soon enough so that it can be fixed with minimal impact on customers. 

  • It creates a risk mitigation strategy so that companies can stay ahead of the curve with changes and fix problems before they really become issues. 

  • It modifies code for new features so that the software can still meet any requirements or business flows without causing problems. 

How to Manage Regression Test Engineering 

When it comes to management of your regression test engineering, there are a few must-ask questions and key considerations to keep in mind.

Test Case Certification

Which test cases are certified and which aren’t? This will help you determine which to include in your regression suite. Check out this free on-demand webinar that will guide you to know exactly which tests to automate.  

Execution Schedule

What does your execution schedule for the regression suite look like? Think about whether it will be beneficial to do this weekly, daily, or by some other schedule. 

Execution From the Main CI Engine

Will all regression tests in the regression suite be executed from the main CI engine? Or are there others executed from a different scheduler? 

Maintenance and Improvements

What triggers regression suite maintenance and improvements? Are there certain events that inspire maintenance? 


Are you continuously analyzing the value of your tests? Find out which are flaky, which aren’t producing the value you need, etc. Adapt to what you determine your testing needs. 

Continuous Testing

Be advised that one round of regression testing isn’t enough. Performing continuous testing is how you’ll get the most out of your regression tests, and it should be a process incorporated into overall DevOps. 

Best Practices for Regression Testing in Agile

1. Understand Scope

Testing can vary in scope, time windows, platform coverage, and objectives. It’s important to understand the differences in these scopes if you’re running sprint-level regression tests or full regression test cycles. 

2. Stay Up-to-Date on Regression Suites

Like all types of testing, you need to stay up to date with your regression suites. Keep in mind both the high-value functional and the non-functional scenarios. Always maintain the high-priority, high-value test cases in your suite. Ensure that your entire team is aligned to which test cases are top priority.   

3. Automate the Right Tests

If a test is difficult to automate or scale, you’re risking the whole cycle and are better off leaving it out. If a test is not able to be automated, strongly consider leaving it out of the regression suite. 

4. Stay on Top of Change

Change is a constant, especially in web and mobile software development. This means you must have a process to stay aware of necessary modifications, whether it’s changes in features or Agile requirements. Communication among developers and testers is essential so that changes do not fall through the cracks.  

5. Track ROI

ROI is important. Teams should always keep track of the ROI of executions. Make sure that regression suite reports are transparent, and that you can see the real results of test executions over time. 

6. Grade Test Scenarios

Compare and track what the differences are when processes and tests are run on different platforms. We also recommend assigning grades to test scenarios, so that you’re ensuring you’re properly prioritizing. 

Automation Drives Quality Results 

It’s clear that automation is a must for DevOps. For teams looking to successfully integrate regression, test automation is the key component. When setting up test automation, the focus needs to be on developing robust scenarios, high coverage, and near-zero test maintenance.  

In the world of web and mobile software development, there will always be new features, platforms, and bug fixes. So regression tests need to be able to maneuver expertly despite a constantly changing environment. 

If you’re looking to improve your ROI on your regression suite, you need to practice continuous testing. Developing a robust strategy, as outlined above, can help you do this. As your product evolves, so too should your regression tests. The more you evolve, study, and improve on your testing, the more you will get out of it. 

The good news is, with Perfecto, you don’t have to invent a complete solution for regression testing, test automation, and continuous testing. Try Perfecto’s all-in-one cloud-based platform. See how easy it is to create, execute, and analyze tests in our lab. Explore for 240 free minutes, test real user conditions, and get detailed analytics.  

Try Perfecto


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