Part Seven in the Series: Software Development Guide for Business Leaders
Your Testing Plan
Develop Testing Strategy & Assign Testing Engineer.
It’s important to have a testing strategy for your project that tests early and often. At the beginning of the project ensure that testers are available from the user community and the development team. You may identify a “testing engineer”; someone that represents the customers’ needs and can engage quickly with the project team.
Don’t fall for the “Testing Phase” approach, where testing occurs at the end of the project. Testing at the end of the project can lead to cost and budget overages. The sooner an issue is isolated, the sooner it can be addressed and fixed.
Make it easy to do testing and to provide feedback. Develop a test plan that the testing engineer can use to run scenarios based on the user story and use cases.
Rotate Developers in the Role of Product Demonstrations & Testing.
Assign a different development resource to lead each iteration of testing. Empowering the developers through leadership, broadens their perspective, increases responsibility, improves quality and brings them closer to the customer’s view. By including the development team in the testing processes with the customer, you will integrate testing with development; these are often considered separate processes. An integrated testing/development environment is a healthier system that results in better cost and quality control.
Placing a developer at the center of the testing process reinforces a culture of quality. No one wants to have bug occur during a demo, so visible demonstrations encourage improved quality.
In summary, how you approach testing can make a significant impact on the project. Insist that a testing plan is part of the Project Plan. Include in your plan:
- Placing the developers at the center of the testing strategy to improve the quality of the code.
- Assigning a testing engineer that represents the needs of the customer.
- Provide feedback easily with a testing plan, use case scenarios, user stories, forms, & automation.
- Test early and often.
I’d like to add a note for successful implementation of a developer led presentation. Some developers will absolutely cringe at the thought of being the center of attention, presenting software to clients and others will shine. Be considerate and weigh individual skills and strengths and try not to put any of your team into a difficult, nerve wracking situation. Your much better to assign supporting roles to the more introverted members of the team.
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