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"... Project management throughout the development and implementation process was inadequate and at times ambiguous. A major systems integration project such as CAD
Requires full time, professional, experienced project management. This was lacking...”
"... The early decision to achieve full CAD implementation in one phase was misguided. In an implementation as far reaching as CAD it would have been preferable to implement in a step wise approach, proving each phase totally before moving on to the next...”
Extract from the main conclusions of the official report into the failure of the London Ambulance Service's
Computer Systems on October 26th and 27th 1992.
This module covers the overall management of the test effort for a particular project and attempts to answer several key questions such as:
How many testers do we need?
How shall the testers be organized?
After completing this module you will:
Understand how testing might be organized.
"We trained hard ... but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized... I was to learn later in life that we meet any new situation by reorganizing and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, -and demoralization."
5.5 Configuration management (CM)
We all appreciate the need for testing and assuring quality in our development systems. But how many of us appreciate that Configuration Management is a precursor to these goals?
ISO (International Standards Organization) definition of CM:
5. 7 Simple CM life cycle process
CM contains a large number of components. Each component has its own process and contributes to the overall process.
5.8 What does CM control?
CM should control everything element that is a part of a system application.
5.9 How is it controlled?
CM is like every other project in that it requires a plan. It is particularly important that CM has a plan of what it is to provide as it forms a framework for life cycle management in which to work consistently and securely.
5.10 What does CM look like?
CM has several hubs and functions that will make or break it. Hubs of system are defined as areas where information and source code are stored. Typically major hubs are central inventory and central repository. Surrounding those are four major tool sets that allow us to work on the data:
5.11 Test estimation, monitoring and control
Effort required to perform activities specified in high-level test plan must be calculated in advance. You must remember to allocate time for designing and writing the test scripts as well as estimating the test execution time...
Many test efforts fail despite wonderful plans. One of the reasons might be that the test team was so engrossed in detailed testing effort...
5.12 Incident Management
An incident is any significant, unplanned event that occurs during testing that requires subsequent investigation and/or correction. Incidents are raised when expected and actual test results differ.
5.12.1 what is an incident?
You may now be thinking that incidents are simply another name for faults but his is not the case. We cannot determine at the time an incident has occurred whether there is really a fault in the software, whether environment was perhaps set up incorrectly or whether in fact test script was incorrect. Therefore we log incident and move on to the next test activity.
5.12.2 Incidents and the test process
An incident occurs whenever an error, query or problem arises during the test process. There must be procedures in place to ensure accurate capture of all incidents. Incident recording begins as soon as testing is introduced into system's development life cycle. First incidents that will be raised therefore are against documentation as project proceeds; incidents will be raised against database designs, and eventually program code of system under test.
5.12.3 Incident logging
Incidents should be logged when someone other than author of product under test performs testing. When describing incident, diplomacy is required to avoid unnecessary conflicts between different teams involved in testing process (e.g. developers and testers). Typically, information logged on an incident will include:
5.12.4 Tracking and analysis
Incidents should be tracked from inception through various stages to eventual close-out and resolution. There should be a central repository holding the details of all incidents.
5.13 Standards for testing
There are now many standards for testing, classified as QA standards, industry-specific standards and testing standards. These are briefly explained in this section. QA standards simple specify that testing should be performed, while industry-specific standards specify what level of testing to perform. Testing standards specify how to perform testing.
In module five you have learnt that the Test Manager faces an extremely difficult challenge in managing the test team and estimating and controlling a particular test effort for a project. In particular you can now:
- Suggest five different ways in which a test team might be organized.
- Describe at least five different roles that a test team might have.
- Explain why the number of test cycles and re-work costs are important factors in estimating.
- Describe at least three ways that a test effort can be monitored.
- List three methods of controlling the test effort to achieve the necessary completion criteria.
- Prioritize incidents.
- Understand the importance of logging all incidents.
- Understand the need for tracking and analysis of incidents.
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