Through the cross-functional participation of all quality and testing stakeholders across the project, developers and testers can craft structural and behavioral tests that cover the critical quality risks and test the important usage profiles. Through cross-functional quality risk analysis, we can begin to understand what it would mean for our system to have quality. In other words, what are the features, behaviors, and attributes that would satisfy—and dissatisfy—our customers and users, and how can we test for them? Without pervasive testing—early, crossfunctional, and coordinated—testers struggle—and often fail—to gain the insights needed to target testing this way.
But when all the pieces come together—the right people, the right processes, the right time, the right techniques, the right focus—then we can achieve truly impressive returns on our testing investment. Significant reductions in postrelease costs are ours for the taking with good testing. In cost of qua lity parlance, we invest in upfront costs of conformance (testing and quality assurance) to reduce the downstream costs of nonconformance (maintenance costs and other intangibles associated with field failures). For more on the financial aspects of testing—among a great many other topics—please pick up a copy of my latest book, Critical Testing Processes . If you've enjoyed this series of articles, it should be right up your alley.
R. Black, Critical Testing Processes , Volume I. Addison-Wesley, 2002.
E. Hendrickson, "More Testing, Worse Quality," www.qualitytree.com.