1.5. Case Study

On one project, we applied the Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) technique to analyze possible ways that an application might fail. This application provided secure file deletion functionality for PC users running some versions of the Windows operating system. We had a six-hour cross-functional meeting with the test team, the programmers, the project manager, a salesperson, and the marketing manager. In this meeting, we discussed ways in which the system might fail and possible approaches to mitigation. These included both testing and various programming process improvements. Figure 1.11 shows the top portion of this 100-item document. The full document is available at www.rexblackconsulting.com.

Figure 1.11. A case Study FMEA

Notice that while the DataRocket example shown earlier in the chapter broke down failure modes based on major subsystems of the server, in this case the analysis starts with major functionality and expected behaviors. You can also use categories of quality risk as the starting point.

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