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How often do you come to the end of the testing phase on your project and find yourself scrambling to finish before implementation? Do you find yourself coming up short on completing those last few tests? Are you all of a sudden off schedule and over budget?
How would you like to feel that sigh of relief when you complete all of your testing prior to implementation? Heck, wouldn’t you like to spend more time preparing for the install itself rather than ‘hoping’ all goes well? Well, there are plenty of strategies that companies can take to feel this relief. Key strategies to keep your testing ahead of schedule and on-budget include:
1. Testing less critical items prior to the start of System Integration Testing (SIT)
Does your company have a Unit, Integration, and/or System test phase prior to UAT? Is there a test phase that is currently allotted strictly for technology testing?
Less critical items to be tested might include: user access rights, screen functionality (such as right-click capabilities), ability to perform basic, and other one- to a few-step transactions.
This allows for the two areas to collaborate on early testing efforts. The business unit can provide the scenarios they would like to test and the application team can ensure they have the proper code in place to support these scenarios. Note that it is important to follow your current process for tracking defects as they are opened & worked. Any outstanding defects will then need to be transitioned to a later phase if not completed during this time.
2. Consider using multiple test environments and various resource options
If multiple applications are involved, then an integrated environment should be the main environment for testing which usually has a full batch cycle that runs one to many processes.
Consider using side platforms for specific testing or processes. If you have any testing that does not require an integrated environment or can be completed within an application (no data coming from other applications), then a side platform may be of use to you. These types of platforms are usually focused around simpler processes that have large quantities of scripts to test.
Also, using a dedicated test manager for each application can be very efficient as they serve as one source for status updates as well as the key figure in managing defect resolution. These resources are also likely in charge of script completion and may support testing automation efforts where appropriate.
3. Stagger testing where possible and run large processes during non-peak times
Consider starting with SIT and have UAT follow. This is a basic concept that a lot of companies follow, but many others still do not. If the opportunity presents itself to complete the technically-focused SIT testing ahead of the business-focused UAT testing, then the technical resources can hone in their efforts during UAT on resolving defects rather than trying to manage their own testing concurrently. If this option isn’t available, then the next best situation is to have UAT start one to two cycles later than SIT so the technical teams can hopefully stay ahead of the UAT defects that may surface.
For larger environments such as integrated environments, let these cycles run over the weekend (or other preferred downtimes) so application testing and business validation can occur during the work week. Companies can run with a skeleton crew over the weekend to ensure the test cycles run smoothly and ensure that testing can occur early in the work week.
4. Produce effective reporting and use lessons learned for future testing efforts
Minimize low-value deliverables (multiple status reports, etc.) and instead focus on testing progress and defect resolution. Status reporting should be used on an as needed basis and should be focused on critical testing milestones (such as reaching a certain % complete by a given date).
Reassess test planning and outcomes based on how many test scenarios were deemed “not applicable” or “unable to complete” during the testing phase. Lots of time can be wasted when testing teams dump previous test scenarios into their test plans that may not be applicable to the changes being made. For test scenarios that cannot be completed, testing teams need to reassess their value and if they are truly feasible scenarios.
This blog was contributed by Ryan McMahon, MSS Consulting Manager
For questions about Successful Project Implementations, Performance Management, or Testing contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cite this blog post:
MLA: McMahon, Ryan. “4 Tips to Achieve Successful Testing Completion Earlier Than Expected.” MSS. MSS. Blog. 08 April 2015.
APA: R McMahon. (2013, Jan 28). 4 Tips to Achieve Successful Testing Completion Earlier Than Expected.