Managing the Testing Process

Opening the Black Box

example, higher level progress and statistical information is presented to management in a simple graphical form, while more detailed technical information is expanded out in drill-down views for users who need that level of detail. These tools can be set up to provide a common basis for discussion and decision making during the testing cycle. They can also help management to avoid treating testing like a black box.

As we have seen, treating testing as a black box at the end of the project schedule invites failure. Testing and test preparation need to be open, managed, and manageable processes that everyone on the project team can understand and work with. Having insight into all testing requirements and desired outcomes is an absolute must for effectively managing a successful testing effort.

Finally, having current information available for testing is important to prepare and manage the project for testing. Testing progress needs to be measured in terms of schedule, functionality, code coverage, and problems. While the exact way in which this information is presented will vary according to the needs of the organization and the project, these four measures of progress need to be available in a form that allows each member of the team to understand the current status of testing, what needs to be done, and how that will affect their part of the project. Using that knowledge, the team can ensure the success of testing and remove one of the major stumbling blocks to a successful project and a successful product.

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