Release Testing Is Risk Management Theatre

622051376c3b381ef1c786036011112d?s=47 Steve Smith
September 05, 2014

Release Testing Is Risk Management Theatre

Agile methods advocate cross-functional teams responsible for product quality, yet the notion of Release Testing (post-development, end-to-end regression testing) as a risk reduction strategy stubbornly lives on.

However, from a Continuous Delivery perspective Release Testing is Risk Management Theatre – a costly practice that delivers little value. Why is this?

In this talk, Steve Smith will discuss why Release Testing is an antipattern, and offer an alternative risk reduction strategy.


Steve Smith

September 05, 2014


  1. Release Testing Is Risk Management Theatre Steve Smith @SteveSmithCD

  2. Steve Smith Continuous Delivery consultant and trainer Author of “Measuring

    Continuous Delivery” Co-author of “Build Quality In” b: e: t: @SteveSmithCD Associated with
  3. What Is Testing “Good testing involves balancing the need to

    mitigate risk against the risk of trying to gather too much information” Gerald Weinberg Testing is a search for information Value: identify risks Cost: execution time
  4. Once Upon A Time

  5. Once Upon A Time

  6. Once Upon A Time

  7. Once Upon A Time

  8. Agile Testing

  9. Agile Testing

  10. Agile Testing

  11. Agile Testing

  12. Release Testing

  13. Release Testing

  14. Release Testing

  15. Release Testing

  16. Compressed Release Testing

  17. Risk Management Theatre “Risk management theatre is the outcome of

    optimising processes for the case that somebody will do something stupid or bad” Jez Humble Release Testing is high cost, low value theatre
  18. Build Quality In “Cease dependence on mass inspection to improve

    quality. Improve the process and build quality into the product in the first place” Dr. W. Edwards Deming, 1900-1993 Testing is an activity, not a phase Everybody is responsible for quality
  19. Build Quality In

  20. More Releases = Lower Risk Risk = probability * cost

    Smaller, more frequent releases reduce risk “Decomposing a large batch into several smaller batches reduces the risk of failure” Don Reinertsen
  21. More Releases = Lower Probability

  22. More Releases = Lower Probability

  23. More Releases = Lower Probability

  24. More Releases = Lower Probability

  25. More Releases = Lower Probability

  26. More Releases = Lower Cost

  27. More Releases = Lower Cost

  28. More Releases = Lower Cost

  29. More Releases = Lower Cost

  30. More Releases = Lower Cost

  31. Dual Value Streams

  32. Agility & Continuous Delivery

  33. Release Testing Is Risk Management Theatre Steve Smith @SteveSmithCD