Good quality acceptance testing finds less defects than bad quality testing

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How to waste time: Vol 1

How many of you recognize the situation: Couple of first days of acceptance testing are spent with battles with basic information, integrations and installations. Few things are not where they should be. First 10-20 defects are not in fact defects, but are caused by poor preparation. This is how 25-50 hours of good testing time is wasted away.

Goals for acceptance testing in development projects

You probably have a list of your own goals for acceptance testing. I have focused our goals in these two:

Goal 1 = To make sure, that the project execution compliments the requirements of the business and is suited for the business execution specifications.

Goal 2 = The implementation has no negative effect on business.

Testing implementation is necessary

Because the goal is to ensure successful implementation, it needs to be tested first. Implementation exercise is a good way to do it. Simple, but effective method goes like this:

Before starting acceptance testing:

  • Plan the implementation from business point of view
  • Plan the implementation from technical point of view

In the beginning of the acceptance testing the implementation is simulated

  • Implementation exercise creates implementation tasks in acceptance testing environment.
  • Found observations are either bugs or new developments.
  • At the same time, it’s easy to track the time spent on these tasks. This helps planning the schedule for the implementation and for example how long the system will be unavailable.

The benefits of implementation exercise

  • Implementation exercise is a method that can be used to simulate implementation success. In addition of the technical point of view, training sufficiency can also be tested.
  • Observations found in the exercise help improve the quality of the implementation.
  • The quality of the acceptance testing improves with good planning.
  • Usually there’s never enough time for acceptance testing. Quality planning ensures that this valuable time is not wasted. It gives time to concentrate on finding real, critical defects.

Is there enough time and resources for implementation exercise?

There are easier ways to plan implementation than by doing a large Excel sheet. Easy to use tools, that help with the planning and managing implementation, do exist. With the right methods, implementation plan is created in a way that makes executing implementation exercise easy.

The most common reason not to do right things at the right time is hurry.

”There’s never enough time to do it right the first time, but there’s always time to do it over”.

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