10.2. Planning a Distributed Test Effort

You need to plan distributed testing with the same level of detail you use to plan your internal effort. It should be a straightforward process, given that you have your own operation under control. The starting point is completion of the high-level test planning discussed in Chapters 1 and 2. You should also have your own test suites fairly well defined, although a few details might remain to be settled. Your test tracking and bug tracking processes should be worked out, including a plan for deploying the bug tracking system.

10.2.1. Assessing Capabilities

Once you've learned enough about a potential test partner to select the organization for the project, as outlined earlier, you next need to assess that partner's specific test capabilities as part of planning your overall test effort. You should approach this exercise as you approach any business meeting: with a certain expected outcome in mind. Compile a proposed list of contributions that you can check off as you go through the assessment, focusing especially on questions related to the areas of skills, staffing, and physical setup.

This is especially important when talking to your vendors or potential third-party test organizations. For each proposed task, can the test partner produce an expert—or at least an experienced, competent person with the requisite skills—who will do the work? In many cases, you will be pleased with the skill levels of the people the vendor and third-party ...

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