Creating the initial risk assessment

During the planning process, you can create an initial risk assessment for a test plan, test case, or test suite.

About this task

You create the risk assessment by first listing the actual risks to a test plan, test case, or test suite. Typical risks might include having an inexperienced test team, having insufficient test resources, the need to test a new technology, an overly aggressive schedule, and so on.

For each identified risk, you specify how likely it is that the risk will occur and how large an the impact the risk will have. The software calculates the risk scores for each risk and provides an overall risk assessment. Over time, you can update the assessment of each risk, which will in turn update the overall risk assessment.

Note: Separately, other team members can review your risk assessment and use the My Risk section to assign a risk ranking of their own. The software then calculates a Community Risk by averaging the My Risk selections of each user. When a user supplies a My Risk ranking, the calculations that contribute to the Community Risk have no impact on the original risk assessment.

Procedure

  1. Open a test plan, test case, or test suite, and click Risk Assessment. Or add the Risk Assessment section to the test plan if it is not already included.
    1. In the area above the table of contents, click Manage Sections.
    2. Select Show all sections to display all of the available sections.
    3. In the Available Sections list, select Risk Assessment and move the item to the Selected Sections list by clicking the Add (Add) icon.
    4. Optional: Move the risk assessment to the top of the list by using the Up (Move up) icon.
    5. Click OK to close the Manage Sections window.
  2. List the risks to your test plan, test case, or test suite.

    Each test plan, test case, or test suite comes with a default risk profile that includes a predefined set of risks. If the existing risk profile does not meet your needs, you can switch to a different risk profile, add new risks, or remove risks. Risk profiles are defined by an administrator.

    • To switch to a different risk profile, click the Switch Risk Profile (Switch risk profile) icon and select another profile. You can replace the previous profile or append the risks in the new profile to the previous one.
    • To add a new risk, click the Add Risk icon (Add) and complete the Add Risk form as follows:

      Add Risk

      1. Select a Risk Type, such as Technical risk or Business risk.
      2. Select the actual risk that you would like to add, such as New technology or Aggressive schedule.
      3. Specify the Likelihood that the risk will occur, either High, Medium, or Low.
      4. Select the expected Impact that the risk will have on your project, either High, Medium, or Low.
      5. Optional: Type your plan to mitigate the risk in the Mitigate Action field.
      6. Click OK and then click Save.

      When you save the test plan, test case, or test suite, the software calculates the assessment of each risk by averaging the Likelihood and the Impact values. If the risk is assessed as high, all five circles are yellow (High risk.). If the risk assessment is low, only one circle is yellow (Low risk) .

      Note: Each individual risk also has a value for Current Impact and Importance. Typically, in the early stages of the planning process you might set the Current Impact to Unassigned because you have already assigned an Impact value. Over time, you can use Current Impact to update the assessment of each risk. When Current Impact is set to High, Medium, or Low, the software includes it as part of the calculation for each risk. When Current Impact is set to Unassigned, it is not included as part of the assessment score. When Current Impact is set to No Impact, the assessment score goes to 0, that is, no risk (No risk).
  3. Complete the risk assessment of the other risks in the list.
    1. Select an individual risk.
    2. Click the Edit Risk icon (Edit risk) and complete the Edit Risk form, just as you completed the Add Risk form in the previous step.
    3. Click OK and then click Save.
  4. At the top of the page, view the overall Risk Assessment for the test plan, test case, or test suite. The overall risk assessment score is the weighted average of the risk assessment score for each row, weighted by Importance. Importance can be set from 1 to 5, with 3 or neutral being the default. As with the individual risks, the overall risk assessment is displayed as a series of circles. If all circles are yellow, the risk is considered very high. If only one circle is yellow, the risk is considered very low.
  5. Optional: Set the relative importance of the individual risks.
    1. Choose the most important risk and set the relative importance attribute to very high (high importance) by selecting the right-most blue circle in the Importance column.
    2. Set the relative importance of the other risks to either high, neutral, low, or very low.
    3. Click Save.
    Note: Importance is not part of the calculation of each individual risk, but is part of the calculation of the overall risk assessment.
  6. You can view and compare the relative risk of test plans, test cases, and test suites to see which are considered the greatest risk. As a result, you can make the staffing and scheduling adjustments that prioritize the high-risk test plans, test cases, and test suites. To view test plans, test cases, or test suites, do one of the following:
    1. For a test plan, go to the main menu and click Planning > Browse Test Plans.
    2. For a test case, go to the main menu and click Construction > Browse > Test Cases.
    3. For a test suite, go to the main menu and click Construction > Browse > Test Suites.

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