Testing is essential to the success of any technology project. Despite the best technical plans and designs, problems, errors and bugs do occur. And, in the interests of all concerned, all reasonably evident problems should be uncovered and resolved long before a given deliverable is put "in production". This article explores the various "testing options" available. Read on for more.
Absolutely. When done right, testing is worth every minute it takes.
When it comes to projects (and particularly IT projects), deliverables testing serves an essential purpose - to make sure that tangible project results function as planned and expected. While the specifics will vary based on project and deliverable type, from a "big picture" perspective, deliverables testing serves four (4) primary goals:
What testing methods will be used? That's a question with many possible answers - all relating to the specifics of the project, the types of deliverables, available resources and related capabilities. But it all starts with an understanding of the available options. Considering these varying factors, deliverables-specific testing plans may in fact include one or more of the following elements:
It takes a deliverable to test a deliverable. Testing deliverables are produced as part of the "testing process". In order to achieve testing goals and objectives, and produce expected results, the following types of deliverables are generally required as part of the planning and execution effort:
Each of these testing deliverables should be produced via standardized steps that account for needs analysis, data collection, draft production, review and input, finalization based on feedback, and formal stakeholder approval. These steps must be scheduled, with roles and responsibilities allocated so that each deliverable can be produced in a timely manner.
Testing needs and requirements should be considered and identified at initiating stages, as part of the project definition process and approved (to be documented as part of the Project Statement of Work). As the project work effort is planned, testing needs must be aligned to that work effort considering the deliverables to be tested, the type of testing required, costs, timing, tasks and stakeholder responsibilities. Testing extent and complexity will have a great impact on project risk, cost, scheduling and the ability to deliver a useable end result with operational confidence. The success (or failure) of all testing practices should also be evaluated as part of any post project review.
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