Using Commonly Captured Data to Improve Testing Processes

Dean Lapp, Minitab Inc.

For a variety of reasons, many test organizations routinely collect data on defects found during testing,
on tests that were run, on estimated time and actual time spent testing, on code coverage, and on
customer-reported problems, among other things. Some of these data only become collectable after
formal processes are put in place, while others can be obtained with minimal effort. The subject of this
paper is to describe a case study of collecting and using the latter type of data. Four databases are used
to track defect data, log test cases, and log customer calls. These data are used to guide efforts at
improving the testing process, the test materials, and the databases themselves. For many testing
organizations, these data are already available. If not, they are easy to collect.

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