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Process Review

The test engineer needs to analyze the existing development and testing process. During this analytical phase, the test engineer determines whether the current test process meets the following defined prerequisites:

  • The testing goals and objectives have been defined.

  • The testing strategies have been defined.

  • The required tools are available to implement planned strategies.

  • A testing methodology has been defined.

  • The test process is communicated and documented.

  • The test process is being measured.

  • The test process implementation is audited.

  • Users are involved throughout the test program.

  • The test team is involved from the beginning of the system development lifecycle.

  • Testing is conducted parallel to the system development lifecycle.

  • The schedule allows for process implementation.

  • The budget allows for process implementation.

  • The organization is seeking to comply with industry quality and process maturity guidelines (CMM, ISO).

The purpose of analyzing the organization's test process is to identify test goals, objectives, and strategies that may be inherent in the test process. These elements of test planning are the cornerstones for which a project's test program develops. The purpose of documenting the test tool introduction process is to ensure that the test team has a clearly defined strategy for implementing automated testing, so that the team can fully leverage the functionality and time-saving features of the automated test tool.

The additional time and cost associated with the documentation and implementation of a test tool introduction process is sometimes an issue. A well-planned and well-executed process will pay for itself many times over by ensuring a higher level of defect detection and fielded software fixes, shortening product-development cycles, and providing labor savings. A test team will perform well if it is disciplined in defining test goals and reflecting the test goals within defined processes, the skills of test team staff, and the selection of a test tool. This kind of discipline, exercised incrementally, supports the test team's (and the entire organization's) advancement in quality and maturity from one level to the next.

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