May 9, 2008

Planning for Success

Test Management
All too often QA is an after thought in the project planning stage. I have taken over many projects that are going the wrong direction or have already turned the corner heading for disaster. One of the many problems that I detect is that QA was never included in the planning phase or the design phase. I receive comments from team members that boggle the mind. “They can plan when we know what it will look like.” This is just plain wrong. I was going to use the word stupid, but I thought it might be too strong. Planning for success requires a solid team approach. That means that QA is involved with the design phase, as well as, including them in the requirements phase of the project. This statement is even more critical if you have an Automation department. In order for automation to be successful, you must plan for success. Some areas that are critical to your planning are: • Identify areas that require larges amount of data entry. • Discover areas that may have repetitive testing with iterative data. • Look for areas that may require data validation. • What area of the application has complex business rules? These areas all require a great deal of planning in order to be successful with automated testing. Which of these areas that I have identified above is QA not involved? I would argue they should be involved in all of them. My experience tells me that you will save over 50% in script and manual test development if QA can develop their scripts early, even against a prototype.