A better way to Test – 1
The first thing to determine is the type of project, type of methodology being used to build it and the people involved (All of them) in building the project. This is not new by any means and seems obvious information to gather, but in the rush to get at testing when you have been recruited late in the project, this is often either skipped or compressed (usually with dire results later on). A few leading questions or a template that needs to be filled in for the Project Test Plan can often help in ensuring that you get all the information that is available. Frequently we find that this also helps the other people in the project get a better understanding of what they are dealing with and some of the expectations.
We started into this process at a recent project and elicited the ‘surprising’ information that the design was wrong. The vendor’s exact words were ‘That is not the way our product works’. The project ran a lot longer than was expected and required a lot more testing since the design was revamped at great cost late in the project and the changes had to ripple throughout the software and hardware.
The above is simply preliminary information that needs to be gathered before we even consider what we are going to do with it and how it impacts our testing.