Testing as a Driver for Development Change

Abstract:

You know the feeling, you’ve been working as a testing manager for several years, you and your team have established a testing process, and then worked on improving and refining it, but you’ve reached the point where you can’t achieve any more. It is not that your processes are perfect, they aren’t, but you realise that to make further improvements in the testing process you have to change the way development works, and that is a far harder task.

So how do you go about changing the development lifecycle? Key areas to address to make progress with testing are; documentation, volume of change, design for testing, quality assurance/quality control and project management. Then you have the traditional problems of the relationship between the developers and the testers, organisational priorities assigned to testing, and the commercial realities of a software house.

This presentation uses as a case study the work carried out by Graham over the last year, starting with identification of the problems, kicking-off a change program, and then details the initiatives that have resulted, including the definition of a test friendly development lifecycle. To add to the complexity the development group have been investigating agile methodologies such as XP.

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Presented at:

1. BCS SIGiST, London – May 2002
2. EuroSTAR, Edinburgh – Dec 2002