Chapter 12

Testing Implications of Project and Process: Situational Context

In the previous chapter, we turned our attention from the way the test management world looks from the test manager's perspective to the way the test management world looks from the outside world's perspective. In particular, we looked at the motivation for testing as a way to reap financial and other benefits. The main benefit to you as a test manager of understanding this outside view of your value is that you can better defend your budget and your resource allocations.

There are still two important and somewhat related contextual issues to address. One is the matter of the project context, especially the life cycle. A formal or informal software life cycle model provides organizations with guidance on the way to organize a project. It is typically chosen to achieve a particular purpose or organization goal such as faster releases, regulatory compliance, and so forth. If testing is done inconsistently with the chosen life cycle, that will create major impediments for us as testers. For one thing, the large amount of friction associated with this mismatch will cause a lot of frustration and inefficiency. For another thing, we are likely to be ineffective at producing the benefits the organization wants from us, which ultimately is dangerous to the ongoing survival of the test team. Perhaps most importantly, we become an obstacle to achieving the very goals the organization set out to achieve by choosing ...

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