Operational Testing


Operational Testing, in the context of technology, refers to a type of software testing process that aims to evaluate the system’s performance in the environment where it will be utilized in real-world conditions. This testing phase, often performed after functional testing and before the system’s deployment, ensures that the system and its components are working optimally and as intended. It mainly focuses on system reliability, security, and data integrity under varying system loads and conditions.


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Key Takeaways

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  1. Operational Testing is User-Oriented: It aims to ensure that the software or system is ready for use and functions properly in a realistic or “live” environment. A key focus is usability and user satisfaction, hence it is often conducted by end-users.
  2. Detects System Integration Issues: Operational testing helps in identifying errors and issues that emerge when different system components interact. It helps in capturing system failures and inefficiencies before the final roll out.
  3. Encompasses Different Testing Types: Operational testing includes various types of testing like stress testing, load testing, security testing, and recovery testing, providing a comprehensive evaluation of the system in an operational environment.



Operational Testing is a crucial concept in the technology field as it directly contributes to the overall software quality and usability. It refers to the process of assessing the functionality and performance of a software, system, or application under realistic, operational conditions before it’s deployed to the end-user. Essentially, Operational Testing delineates whether a system can handle and perform the intended tasks under real-world constraints and demands. By simulating actual user conditions, it helps identify potential issues or failures that might not be evident under controlled testing environments. Therefore, it plays a significant role in ensuring the efficiency, reliability, and stability of the software, minimizing the risk of operational failures once deployed, and enhancing the user experience, leading to a higher level of customer satisfaction.


Operational Testing is a form of testing which is used to evaluate the functionality and efficiency of a system in conditions as close as possible to the real-world or typical user environment. The purpose of this testing is not just to identify issues or bugs, but also to assess the system’s reliability, stability and data integrity under normal or expected workload. Operational Testing ensures that the product or system is ready for release and will function correctly in the hands of the end-users.The practical utilization of Operational Testing provides valuable insights into how the system performs in realistic scenarios. It tends to highlight potential problems that might not have been observed during other testing phases. For instance, it can expose interoperability issues that may arise when the system interacts with other systems, which can be crucial for applications in production environments. Therefore, Operational Testing plays a significant role in guaranteeing a user-friendly, robust, and reliable system prior to its final deployment, making it an essential component of quality assurance in technology development.


1. Aircraft Testing: Before newly developed aircraft are declared flight-ready, they undergo a series of operational tests. These tests examine the aircraft’s performance, reliability, and ability to function under various conditions. This includes elements like its speed, altitude, manoeuvrability, and safety systems.2. Medical Equipment Testing: In the healthcare industry, operational testing is crucial. Before medical devices like an MRI machine, defibrillator, or dialysis machine are used on patients, they must go through rigorous operational tests. These tests verify that the equipment operates as expected, that it’s safe to use, and that it meets all relevant health and safety standards.3. Software Testing: When new software or an update to existing software is developed, it’s not immediately released for use. First, the software undergoes operational testing to confirm it performs as intended in real-world environments. This tests the software under expected conditions as well as extreme or unexpected conditions. Examples could include security software or an e-commerce app. The testing ensures that it’s user-friendly, reliable, and free from bugs or errors.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is Operational Testing?**A: Operational Testing, often known as OT, is a type of testing conducted to evaluate the system’s performance under the expected real-world operational conditions. It aims at verifying the performance, security, and reliability of a software system before it goes live.**Q2: What is the main purpose of Operational Testing?**A: The primary purpose of operational testing is to validate that the software application is ready for release and that it will effectively work in the intended operational environment, while meeting various performance indicators and business requirements.**Q3: Who carries out Operational Testing?**A: Typically, operational testing is carried out by quality assurance teams, business users, or other relevant stakeholders who have a thorough understanding of the application’s operational conditions.**Q4: What are the types of Operational Testing?**A: The two main types of Operational Testing are Beta Testing and User Acceptance Testing. Beta Testing involves releasing the software to end-users to check its working and gather feedback. User Acceptance Testing is done by clients or end-users to confirm whether the software meets their needs and is ready for deployment.**Q5: When is Operational Testing performed?**A: Operational Testing is performed in the later stages of the software testing life cycle, specifically after functional and system testing. It is done before the final deployment of the software application.**Q6: What is checked in Operational Testing?**A: Operational Testing checks various aspects of a software application such as the application’s operation in real-time scenarios, hardware/software compatibility, software performance, data integrity, and software security among others.**Q7: Why is Operational Testing crucial in software development?**A: Operational Testing is crucial because it helps identify potential usability and functionality issues before the software is released to the public. It ensures that the software is reliable and meets user expectations in the real-world operational environment. It also forms the last testing phase prior to software launch.**Q8: Does Operational Testing focus on finding defects?**A: No, the main focus of Operational Testing is to validate the software’s performance under the expected real-world operational conditions, although it can also aid in uncovering defects.**Q9: What is the difference between Operational Testing and Functional Testing?**A: While Functional Testing focuses on verifying whether a system operates according to its specifications, Operational Testing focuses more on the performance, reliability, and security of the software under realistic production-like circumstances.**Q10: How is the success of Operational Testing determined?**A: The success of Operational Testing is determined based on whether the software can perform under its expected operational environment, meet the necessary performance indicators, and meet business requirements. The software is deemed ready for deployment if it successfully passes the Operational Testing phase.

Related Tech Terms

  • System Validation
  • Usability Testing
  • Test Case Execution
  • Acceptance Testing
  • Non-Functional Testing

Sources for More Information


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