You may recall from the blog of two weeks ago that may organisations end up dissatisfied with their testing.

The key to resolving this, from Quality Assurance, is to plan your testing before your start. Decide on what must be done, what should be done and what need not be done before the project gets very far.

Sometimes people call these decisions ‘tradeoffs‘ since they imply that something is being traded off against something else and someone is losing out. Tradeoffs are different and do have the characteristics mentioned in the previous sentence. Here we are planning for what needs to be done.

Other people claim they need to see the software in order to know what to test. At the detail level this can be true but it is not true at the upper levels.

Still others will claim that they will think of all the testing that needs to occur while they are doing it. This is not a bad method as long as the tester fully understands all the business, technical, and software requirements and can handle all of this. Small projects with little risk can be done this way. Larger projects with higher risks are not so easy.

A Quality Assurance process considers all the relevant items at the start and does not wait for a crisis to occur or for management to worry about what has been completed or not completed. It is determined at the beginning and the decisions taken at that point, not in the last 10% of the project with a huge amount of the work to complete. Ongoing reporting and process improvement ensures this works properly.

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