This book addresses testing activities and tasks that span the entire testing life cycle—from review of program plans, to developing the formal test plan, through developing the remainder of the test documentation (test design, test cases, test procedures) as well as acquiring any needed automated testing tools, through test execution, to final updating of the test documentation after test execution is complete.
The test activities and tasks will be represented using the technique of classical Input-Process-Output (IPO) diagrams, as suggested by Watts Humphrey (Humphrey, 1989). The test activities, tasks, and processes are in accordance with those documented in IEEE-Standard-829, the Standard for Software Test Documentation, and are techniques suggested by a number of testing specialists, including personnel at the Quality Assurance Institute (Orlando, Florida) and Software Quality Engineering (Jacksonville, Florida). These are techniques I have used for many years on a variety of hardware and software programs, of large and small size. Hopefully, use of this method and adoption of some or all of the processes will help you as much as they have helped me.
Readers should keep one additional point in mind: The full-blown model described in this book details a full-featured formal testing process that is applicable to large programs and that would fully support programs deliverable to state and federal governments, or on programs delivering safety-critical systems or having significant impact on corporate profits. For work on smaller systems, or in organizations where a formal testing process is just getting organized, this process model must be significantly tailored and reduced in scope. Guidance in tailoring this process model and using it on projects and programs of various sizes is provided in Chapter 8. As with any process improvement opportunity, don’t try to do everything at once. Prioritize your process improvements and proceed slowly and methodically. Plan your work on small projects so as to have lots of little victories. In today’s sound-bite management environment, it is very important to show lots of accomplishments. It is essential to make sure you can publicize your and your group’s accomplishments if you are going to survive in this new world of short-term planning and thinking.