10.4. Case Study

On the information appliance project cited in Chapter 8, I put together an in-house test team that focused on four areas: server farm testing, information appliance testing, usability testing, and test tool development. To make sure the custom hardware worked correctly, I asked the vendor who built the system to thoroughly test the hardware. I also had a third-party test lab run some of the most critical hardware tests to make sure the quality was sufficient in these areas. Finally, the marketing manager administered various forms of user and user-surrogate testing, which, while not under our direct control, resulted in some interesting bug data that both confirmed some of our findings and added new information, especially in the area environmental issues such as telephone line conditions. Figure 10.5 shows the organizational chart for the distributed test team on this project. (The names have been changed to mask the project's identity.)

I thank my client, who wishes to remain anonymous, for permission to discuss this project here. I also thank my client contacts for their excellent support and steady leadership on this project. Finally, thanks to my test team, the vendor, and the independent test lab for their professionalism and excellence on this project.

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