SmartQA - HyBIST Approach


Software development has significantly evolved and matured, but the QA practice seems archaic, relying solely on automated testing without embracing a comprehensive approach. Quality seems to be caught up between do-more/test-continuously on one side and finding issues earlier/assure on the other side, without a clue on how to marry them in simple terms. There seems to be extreme reliance on rote continuous testing via automation rather than smart assurance exploiting human intelligence.

Let’s take a look at the STATE OF TESTING PRACTICE:

  • the focus is on DOING
  • the focus is on PROCESS
  • the focus is on MACHINE
  • the focus is on CHECK(comply)
  • the focus is on EXPERIENCE
  • the focus is on DETECTION
  • the focus is on DOING MORE

So what are the challenges due to this?

  • Doing unnecessary / too much testing,
  • not clear of coverage/adequacy,
  • focus only on checking with extreme emphasis on automation.


The need of the hour is to move rapidly & test deeply.

So what is to be done?

  • focus on PROBING in addition to DOING
  • focus on PRACTICE in addition to PROCESS
  • focus on INTELLECT in addition to MACHINE
  • focus on TEST in addition to CHECK (comply)
  • focus on METHOD in addition to EXPERIENCE
  • focus on PREEMPTION not just on DETECTION
  • focus on DOING LESS rather than TO DO MORE with extreme reliance on rote continuous testing via automation

SmartQA is about probing deeper to seek clarity & in the process uncover, preempt issues rapidly, not limited to mere validation of code.

The key governing principles of SmartQA activities are:

  • to do well & rapidly,
  • do as early & minimally
  • certainly don’t do others’ work.

The HyBIST (Hypothesis-Based Immersive Session Testing) approach to SmartQA is to analyse & design smart probes using hypothesis based method and probing smartly in sessions immersively.

  • designing smart probes aided by key concepts
  • probing smartly enabled by key practices

A “key concept” is either a technique/principle/guideline to do an activity smartly by transform one’s mindset. These help in analysis to sharpen clarity, preempt issues, figure out test approach, design & review scenarios/cases, analyse impact to regress smartly and assess practice.

A “key practice” enables one to immerse deeply, respond rapidly and stay connected to the context ,to be in a flow to do rapidly and effectively.

So, how are the outcomes superior?

The outcomes of typical TESTING are :
Test plan, test cases, defects, scripts
(driven by templates ) that involve:
write a lot, to de-risk future, focus on how
with lot of rote activities and driven by experience

Whereas the outcomes of SMART probing are:
Questions, observations, suggestions, ideas in addition to test plan, scenarios, defects, scripts. These are NOT template driven and are about : write less, to do well now, focus on what-if & what, driven by logic & outcomes, not reliant only on experience with minimal rote activities.

Take a course

SmartQA Masterclass for QA course provides a refreshing look at product/application testing by layering quality into levels and then outlining a lightweight, crisp and powerful approach to uncovering issues better, faster and cheaper. “Do less, accomplish more”.

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Empower your QA efforts with this concise eBook providing THIRTEEN suggestions that addresses SIX key industry QA challenges.

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