Chapter 3. Aligning Testing with the Project

In this chapter, I cover the important concept of fitting testing into its project context. In Chapter 6 I will cover how to make sure you test the right quality characteristics to the right extent. In another chapter, I’ll give you some ideas on how to choose the right test strategies. Both are critical to testing success.

However, failing to fit testing to the project is as dangerous as testing the wrong attributes of the system or using the wrong test strategies. So in this chapter, I’ll discuss how projects need the services of a skilled test professional such as you.

Why Do Organizations Test?

Why are we here? I don’t pose this question in a philosophical sense, but in a practical one.

When I work on projects, I expect to be paid. Someone probably pays you to test their system, or you’re learning about testing to get a job in the field. Since testing does not generate money by itself, some organization is paying for testing to happen. Testing doesn’t happen for its own sake, out of intellectual curiosity or to serve some noble purpose. Rather, testing happens because it serves needs and provides benefits as part of a project or operation.

Different organizations have different needs and benefits that they are looking for from your work, such as:

  • Improved reputation for quality

  • Lower post-release maintenance costs

  • Smoother release cycles

  • Increased confidence

  • Protection from lawsuits

  • Reduced risk of lost missions or even lives

These are needs ...

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