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Test Process Analysis

The test team initiates the test tool introduction process by analyzing the organization's current test process. Generally, some method of performing tests is in place, and therefore the exercise of defining the process may actually result in process improvement. In any case, process improvement begins with process definition.

The test process must be documented in such a way that it can be communicated to others. If the test process is not documented, it can't be communicated or executed in a repeatable fashion. If the test process can't be communicated or isn't documented, it's less likely to be implemented. In addition, if the process isn't documented, it can't be consciously and uniformly improved. On the other hand, if a process is documented it can be measured and therefore be improved.

If the organization's overall test process is not yet documented, or is documented but outdated or inadequate, the test team may need to adopt part or all of an existing test process. As the organization's test process, the test team may adopt the Automated Test Lifecycle Methodology (ATLM) outlined in Automated Software Testing: Introduction, Management, and Performance. When defining or tailoring a test process, it may prove useful for the test engineer to review the organization's product-development or software-development process document, when available.

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