Techniques for optimizing regression testing time and effort

Regression testing is an important part of the software development life cycle. It aims to ensure that updates or changes to a software application do not lead to new defects or cause unintended functioning. You need to run a set of test cases on an existing software application to validate that it performs as end-user expectations after changes are done. 

Regression testing is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process requiring human efforts to test a large codebase of software applications. However, to overcome the challenges, you can use different techniques to optimize your regression testing efforts and reduce the time required to ensure the stability and reliability of your software application. 

This article will discuss and explore regression testing time and effort fundamentals. 

By the end of this article, you will better understand how to effectively plan and prioritize regression testing to ensure the stability and reliability of your software applications.

What is Regression Testing? 

Regression testing is the type of software testing that checks and verifies an existing software application to ensure that changes or updates made have not given rise to new defects. Regression testing aims to verify that the software application’s existing functionality is not impacted by the changes or updates done and that the software application performs as intended after the changes in the features. 

In performing regression testing you have to re-run a set of test cases on an existing software application. This is needed to ensure that the changes have not caused any unexpected behavior or defects in the software application. The test cases used in regression testing are mainly chosen from the existing test suite. This mainly involves functional, performance, and security testing, among others.

Need Regression Testing Time and Effort

However, regression testing can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. It is mainly for complex software applications which have a large codebase. There is a great need to address the above issue to ensure the developed software application is bug-free and high quality. With the great demand for high-quality software applications, changing features or updating features is crucial. However, this may lead to the rise of bugs or changes in the existing features of the application. Therefore, there is a great need to perform regression testing.

However, in executing regression testing, the time involved could be high. This is because testers have to perform a large number of test cases leading to a long testing duration. To this, a huge effort is required to perform tests. Thus, there is a need to include techniques to optimize regression testing and efforts. 

Techniques for optimizing regression testing time and effort

Optimizing regression testing time and effort is important for ensuring the stability and reliability of software applications. Here are some effective techniques for optimizing regression testing time and effort.

Prioritize Test Cases

In regression, as there is a need to check for the existing functionality as well as new changes and bugs, there are many test cases that require to be executed. However, running all the test cases is impossible, especially when time and budget constraints exist.

One of the techniques to optimize the regression test time and effort is to prioritize the test cases. The prioritization of test cases is done based on the risk and impact of a change on a software application. Here, testers have to focus on critical functionalities first. This will reduce the overall time and effort required for regression testing. This ensures that the essential components of the software applications are thoroughly tested before moving on to less critical areas.

Make use of automation tools

The testers highly prefer using automation tools as it helps speed up the testing approach for repetitive tasks. There is no risk of errors like manual testing, and it ensures the software application’s effective testing. In regression testing, there is a need to execute the existing test cases to ensure the stable feature of the software application corresponding to the change made; automation testing is a better option to optimize regression testing time and effort. 

Automated testing tools can help reduce the time and effort of regression testing. They automate repetitive and time-consuming testing tasks, such as running test cases and generating reports. This allows testers to focus on more critical software application areas that require manual testing, reducing the overall time and effort required for regression testing. 

Some commonly used automation testing tools are Selenium, Cypress, and Playwright. Its use can be leveraged when used in a digital experience platform like LambdaTest. It is an automation testing platform that gives access to 3000+ browsers, devices, and OS. With its integration of various automation testing tools, including Selenium, Cypress, and Appium, LambdaTest enables testers to perform regression testing across various platforms and devices.

One of the amazing features of LambdaTest is its  Online Selenium Grid, which allows testers to run automated tests in parallel across multiple browser and operating system combinations, significantly reducing the overall testing time and effort required.

Optimize Test Suite

Testers often have to run many test cases to ensure a software application works properly. However, not all test cases are equally important or relevant. Some test cases might need to be revised or updated, meaning they cover the same functionality that others already cover, or they are no longer necessary due to changes made to the application.

By removing outdated test cases from the test suite, testers can ensure that only necessary and relevant test cases are executed, reducing the time required for testing while providing comprehensive coverage. This ensures that the most critical functionalities are comprehensively tested while avoiding repetitive testing of less critical areas.

Use incremental testing

Incremental testing is a software testing approach that involves testing only the changed or added software component in the development cycle instead of testing the entire software application. When new features or changes are introduced into the software application, the rise of bugs or issues in the impacted components is highly common. 

Testers can quickly identify and address any issues the changes may have introduced when they perform regression tests of only the changed or added parts of the software applications. This can significantly reduce testing time and effort. 

Use risk-based testing

Risk-based testing involves determining the software components mainly impacted by changes or updates done on software applications. Here you have to focus on testing efforts in those main components of software applications.

For example, if a developer changes a crucial function in the software application, the testers will focus on testing that specific function and any other application areas that could potentially be affected by the change. This will help to ensure that testing efforts are emphasized on the software application that is most important and could potentially cause the most problems if not tested completely.

If you prioritize testing efforts in this way, the approach of risk-based testing can help ensure that crucial components of the software applications are comprehensively tested.  This will help you avoid spending excessive time and resources on testing areas that are less likely to be affected by changes or updates.

Use Parallel Testing

Parallel testing involves running multiple tests simultaneously, which can help to reduce the overall testing time. In regression testing, you can run parallel tests simultaneously, which helps to achieve wide test coverage. 

For example, suppose that a testing team needs to run a suite of 100 tests. Instead of running all of these tests altogether, they can divide them into smaller sets and execute simultaneously in different test environments or through cloud-based testing services. By doing this, the testing team can complete all 100 tests much faster than if they were to run them one after the other.

The use of a cloud-based platform like LambdaTest offers a scalable and reliable testing solution. You can execute parallel tests in Selenium across various browsers, operating systems, and devices, helping reduce testing time and effort while ensuring comprehensive test coverage.

Use exploratory testing

Exploratory testing involves analyzing the software application without having a predefined test script. This allows testers to identify defects missed in the scripted tests. This can help to identify complex issues quickly and efficiently. You can think creatively and find new ways of interacting with the software applications, which can help find issues that may have gone unnoticed in scripted tests.

Use crowd testing

Crowd testing involves outsourcing testing efforts to a community of testers. In other words, organizations outsource the testing requirement to the community of testers. The testers in this community have diverse backgrounds and different levels of experience with testing. This can help to reduce testing time and effort while providing access to a large pool of testers with diverse backgrounds and expertise. Thus it will lead to a lower regression time and effort. This will also initiate faster software application releases in the market. 


Optimizing regression testing time and effort is crucial for ensuring that software applications are exhaustively tested while lowering the resources and time required. Testing teams can reduce testing time and effort along with maintaining complete test coverage by using techniques such as test automation, risk-based testing, exploratory testing, and parallel testing.

Additionally, crowd-testing and leveraging cloud-based testing services can provide access to diverse test environments. This led to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of regression testing. Eventually, by using these techniques and continuously enhancing software testing, organizations can ensure that their software applications are released with the highest quality while reducing the time and effort required for testing.

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