Testing For Success
Bangalore: Any IT solution that is implemented without complete and thorough testing is heading down to failure. Testing is a continuous process and happens at several stages: it happens in software development, in the testing phase, just before deployment and even after implementation.
Without a proper round of testing before implementation, the project will surely fail and affect the entire performance of the solution. If the testing has been poor, the costs associated with maintenance and support will rise exponentially, and the solution won’t be reliable. Consequently the market value will also decrease and stakeholders will lose their faith in the company. So project managers should realize that testing is an absolute necessity and not just a task which is an impediment that slows the entire software development cycle. It is essential that each component is tested individually, even if the testing is going to take some time.
The project manager should focus his attention on developing a complete testing plan and schedule. At this stage, the project manager should be aware of the fact that this effort will have to come within the project budget, as many of the testers will be designing, testing, and validating the solution throughout the entire project life cycle. This consumes work-hours and resources. The testing effort begins while preparing test plans and continues until the closure phase.
While conducting testing, it is essential to try to keep the conditions as realistic as possible. A project leader should establish some ground rules for acceptance testing before any testing commences. Typically, some of these rules should address the following:
1. It is important to use real data and real operators.
2. Test the solution as the development happens so that errors can be corrected immediately.
3. The project should employ people who understand design and user specifications.
4. Make it clear to all involved what is involved within the test and what is not.
5. Involve participation of users of the product who will be aware of how it will be used.
6. Test to confirm that interfacing the new solution to the current infrastructure will not have unpleasant consequences.
7. Allocate time for reiteration of the unsatisfactory test results in the project schedule.
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