ISTQB Expert Level

This follows on from the ISTQB Advanced level.

It is aimed at those with substantial and sustained experience in software testing.

Exam fee - US $375 - read more below.

  • 1. Improving the Test Process

    The syllabus starts with an introduction to the fundamental issues concerning improvement to the testing process. Basic questions like "why improve testing?" and "what can be improved?" are considered and the different ways that stakeholder can view quality are described.

    There are a number of different approaches which can be applied to improve the test process; overviews of these approaches are provided.

    Model-based improvement is considered in depth by first examining fundamental aspects of using models and then describing and comparing a number of well known test improvement models of various types.

    Analytical approaches for improving the testing process, such as causal analysis, are covered in as much details as the model-based approaches. Metrics play a significant role in analytical approaches so a number of these are covered, together with an approach for using metrics effectively e.g., the GQM-approach.

    An expert in this field will be expected to select the right approach for a given situation. The factors to consider are covered and the relative benefits of each approach are compared.

    The task of improving test process is itself a process which can be described in several steps including the setting of scope and objectives for improvement, assessing the current situation, analyzing results, performing solution analysis, suggesting improvements and priorities, creating an improvement plan, implementing the plan and gaining knowledge from each improvement cycle. The syllabus details each of these steps according to a standard process definition.

    Different organization forms for implementing improvements to the testing process are covered, including the impact of offshoring on those organizations. The typical roles to be found in these organizations are described and the wide range of different skills required for effectively performing those roles are detailed.

    Management of change is essential in rolling out improvements to the test process into projects and organizations. In particular, the human factos in the change management process are covered in the syllabus. A wide range of different skills is covered including those needed for effective interviewing and for performing analysis.

    The Improving the Testing Process syllabus can be divided into two parts - Assessing Test Processes and Implementing Test Process Improvement.

  • 2. Test Management

    The syllabus starts by considering the purpose of testing or the test mission, and the relation between the test policy, the test strategy and the test objectives. Test prioritization and various effort allocation techniques, including risk-based are considered in depth. The expert test manager is considered to be able to utilize and adapt all available methods to define and meet testing objectives. Furthermore, an expert test manager is expected to be able to design a specific method or approach to meet those objectives and to gain and maintain early management commitment.

    Managing the test team and managing testing throughout the organization are addressed extensively and special attention is given to the various project management tasks that would apply at the expert test management level. The test manager's role in performing risk management (risk assessment workshops and risk mitigation management), reviews, assessments, quality gate evaluation, quality assurance and audits are covered in detail. How to report test results and how to interpret results by evaluation of exit criteria is elaborated upon. The metrics are described which are presented in a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) dashboard and play a crucial role in the management of the test process.

    The expert test manager is expected to select or create, evaluate and improve the most appropriate approach for a given situation, which implies that several right approaches can occur simultaneously, of which no individual approach stands out significantly. It is up to the expert test manager to find a suitable approach or combination of approaches which fit the organization in order to meet or exceed the given objectives.

    Different ways to organize testing as well as different types of projects for test management, including vendor management, are covered. Typical test management topics such as incident management, test project evaluation and tools for reporting and test management are addressed in depth.

    The syllabus concludes with an overview of special test management considerations for different domains and project factors.

    The Test Management syllabus can be divided into three parts - Strategic Management; Operational Test Management and Managing the Test Team.

Exam Preparation Options

You can prepare for the exam via self-study or through an accredited training provider.

The former has the obvious benefit of potentially being more cost-effective in monetary terms.

The latter however can be a more efficient use of your time, with courses typically being 3 days long, taught by trainers knowledgeable in both the content and exam styles.

Click on the links below for more.