When There is Too Much to Test: Ask Pareto for Help

Claire Caudry, Perceptive Software

Preventing defects has been our goal for years, but the changing technology landscape-architectures, languages, operating systems, data bases, Web standards, software releases, service packs, and patches-makes perfection impossible to reach. The Pareto Principle, which states that for many phenomena 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes, often applies to defects in software. Employing this principle, Claire Caudry describes ways to collect and analyze potential risks and causes of defects through technology analysis, customer surveys, T-Matrix charting, Web trends reports, and more. Then, Claire discusses ways to provide adequate testing without a huge financial investment-use of virtual machines, hardware evaluation programs, vendor labs, and pre-release beta programs. Finally she discusses approaches to minimize customer risk by proactive communication of known technology and third-party issues without getting into a "blame game" with your vendor partners.

  • Applying the 80/20 rule to testing priorities
  • Methods to collect and analyze changing technology and customer platform requirements
  • Testing options without additional automation and hardware purchases

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