A Pragmatic Strategy for NOT Testing in the Dark?

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© 1999 Johanna Rothman and Brian Lawrence. Originally published in Software Testing and Quality Engineering, Mar./April 1999 Issue.
A project manager strides purposefully into your office. "JB, this disk has the latest and greatest release of our software. Please test it." You say "OK, OK. What does it do?" The manager stops in his tracks and says "Uh, the usual stuff..."
Sound familiar? We've run into this situation as employees and as consultants. We've seen testers take the disk, stick it in the drive, and just start testing away.
That's testing in the dark. We think there are approaches that are more productive. When we test or manage testers, we plan the testing tasks to know what value we can get from the testing part of the project.
Let's try turning on the lights!
Even for a short (2-week) testing project, we've used this strategy. Consider this approach:
  • Discover the product's requirements, to know what testing needs to be done;
  • Define what quality means to the project, to know how much time and effort we can apply to testing;
  • Define a test plan, including release criteria, to check out different people's understanding of what's important about the product, and to know when we're ready to ship.

Discover the Requirements

The first part of your planning is to play detective. Your product will have a variety of requirements over its lifetime. Some will be more important sooner, others, later. You have to discover this project's requirements.

Read more at: https://www.jrothman.com/Papers/Pragmaticstrategies.html

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