Product management glosary

Regression Testing

What is Regression Testing?

Regression testing is a type of software testing that ensures that previously developed and tested software still performs as expected after changes have been made to the system. These changes can include code modifications, bug fixes, software enhancements, or updates to the environment in which the software operates. The primary goal of regression testing is to identify any unintended consequences or negative impacts on the existing functionality of the software.

Why is Regression Testing Important?

As software evolves, it is common for new features to be added, existing features to be updated, and bugs to be fixed. These changes can sometimes cause unintended side effects that may lead to the software not functioning as expected. Regression testing is essential to ensure that the software remains stable and reliable after each change. It helps in maintaining the quality of the software and reducing the risk of introducing new issues into the system.

Types of Regression Testing

There are several types of regression testing, including:

  1. Full Regression Testing: This type of testing involves running all the test cases in the test suite. It is the most comprehensive form of regression testing but can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
  2. Partial Regression Testing: In this approach, only a subset of the test suite is executed. Test cases are selected based on the areas of the software that have been changed or are most likely to be affected by the changes.
  3. Unit Regression Testing: This type of testing focuses on individual units or components of the software. It is typically performed by developers during the development process to ensure that their changes do not negatively impact the functionality of the software.
  4. Integration Regression Testing: This testing focuses on the integration points between different components or modules of the software. It is performed to ensure that changes made to one component do not adversely affect the interaction between components.

Regression Testing Techniques

There are several techniques that can be used to perform regression testing, including:

  1. Manual Regression Testing: Testers manually execute the test cases and compare the results with the expected outcomes. This method can be time-consuming and prone to human error but is sometimes necessary for complex or highly customized software systems.
  2. Automated Regression Testing: Automated testing tools are used to execute the test cases and compare the results with the expected outcomes. This method is faster and more reliable than manual testing but requires an investment in test automation tools and the creation of automated test scripts.
  3. Continuous Regression Testing: This approach involves integrating regression testing into the software development process, so it is performed continuously throughout the development cycle. It can help identify issues early in the development process, reducing the risk of defects being introduced into the final product.


Regression testing is a critical aspect of software development and maintenance, ensuring that changes made to the software do not negatively impact its existing functionality. By employing various types of regression testing and techniques, organizations can maintain the quality and reliability of their software products, reducing the risk of defects and ensuring a positive user experience.