Archive for September, 2012

Test Execution Management – More than Pass/Fail

Your project is in the home run stretch.  You have a few weeks before the deployment and testing is underway.  Do you know what the odds are of deploying on time?  One strong indicator is your test execution statistics.  You are collecting them, right?

Testing is more than test cases and marking them as pass or fail.  You need to have attributes about your test cases in order to have strong test execution management.  Without this information, when crunch time hits and you need to revise your test plan to hit your date, you will be shooting from the gut and not working off facts.  That can work out – but do you want to bet the bank on it?  Or your career?

While building your test cases, here are a few things to consider.

1. Which requirements does this test case link to?  And are they “Must have” or “Nice to have”  This information will help you set priority on your test cases.

2. Negative testing – good – but at what probability?  If you know that a situation “might” occur and you want to test for it – that’s a negative test case.  Every project should have them.  But if you know that the probability is low of this situation occurring, you can leave this test case for last instead of using valuable resources to get it done first.

3. Relationships – it’s not always about who you know…. How a test case relates to another is important.  For instance, if you have a defect on test case #2 and it relates to test case #3 – shouldn’t you re-test both of them when the defect is resolved?  YES – but without this mapping, will you neglect #3 and not realize that it’s now not working as expected.

4.  Execution schedule – this was always my least favorite but necessary item.  If you have 3 weeks to test and in week 1, you have only 15 out of 200 test cases completed – are you in good shape?  What will you tell your management team?  Do resources need to work the weekend or extra hours?  Like any project, having milestones along the way will help.  A goal to have x% of test cases done by the end of week 1 is a good start.  Publish statistics to your team and ask them to help provide ways to keep the effort on schedule.  Publish the statistics to your project manager to help as an input in determining the status of their project.

Testing – it’s not the glamorous part of a project.  It’s the part at the end that has to be done and is usually challenged with a shortened timeline as the other phases ran over.  Do not let your project status be subjective – capturing a few details along the way can make the difference in saying “Yes we can hit our date” or “I hope so….”.

What other attributes do you capture to help with test execution management?

September 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment


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