Approaches to Managing Software Testing

Methods and metrics must provide demonstrable value to have credibility and worth.

· The best way is to provide that manager with high-quality information that he or she can use to make decisions that have a positive affect on the bottom line.

To do that you will have to develop an approach to testing that complements (and can succeed with) the development methodology being used. You will have to measure and keep track of what you measure, and finally, you will have to convert your measurement data into that information that management finds truly valuable.

· Another way that you can demonstrate the value of methods and metrics is to measure the cost benefit of not using the methods and metrics and compare that to the cost benefit of using them.

For example, in a case study of an early-1990s shrink-wrap RAD project a group of trained testers, using the methods and metrics in this book, found bugs at the rate of two to three per hour, while untrained testers, who were not using formal methods and metrics, found three bugs per day in the same applications. Further, over 90 percent of the bugs reported by the trained testers were fixed, while half of the bugs reported by the untrained testers were returned by developers as unreproducible.

· The best reason for using methods and metrics is that companies using them have a competitive advantage. They get a much better job done for less.

A competent journeyman tester (the ones using methods and metrics) can successfully test any development project regardless of the development methodology being employed as long as they have sufficient resources and management support to do so. Developing or tailoring the test approach to suit the needs of the project is a critical piece of acquiring those resources and that support.

What is required is a balance between creativity and method. This is where engineers come into the picture.


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