Test Planning and Development, Requirement Verification, Sell-Off, and Execution are all parts of every project and are intertwined in several development stages. Test Planning begins upfront after identifying capabilities and the development of requirements. Test Development involves Requirements review, allocation to methods, and procedure creation for verification. Identification of resources for testing and verification occurs at this time. Requirement Verification occurs through procedure creation, review, and execution. Sell-Off occurs when each requirement undergoes testing and is verified or adjudicated to finalize the Test phase. Making plans upfront on how and what to test adds to the overall understanding of the requirements and CONOPS. Since testing will occur at different levels throughout the process, test plans early are vital to ensure better and more efficient, and cohesive test development.
Some critical roles in testing involve not only your test team but the software and hardware engineers along the path. The Systems Engineers and Test Engineers, sometimes the same, need upfront communications as requirements and CONOPS go through the refinement process. This communication provides the Test Engineers with their first look at how to test the system. Next, the Software and Hardware Engineers need to define their internal test procedures. And finally, the Test Engineers will put together the final test plan for sell-off.
Test methods are:
· Inspection - Observing to result.
· Test - A quantifying comparison of actual vs. expected results.
· Analysis - A mathematical proof of the system.
· Demonstration - Just like the name, a demonstration of the system, is usually used as the final sell-off of the higher-level requirements.
These tests are further broken down into individual tests, such as load testing, usability, and security, primarily in the domain of the individual tests and as sections of the final system sell-off.
Testing is vital for a smooth-running project, be it: 1) at the beginning where it helps in the requirements and CONOPS definition; 2) the Software and Hardware engineers performing their individual tests on various modules, and 3) solidify the final sell-off of your end product. And like everything else in a project, configuration management (CM) plays an important role. If a test should point towards a design change, so be it, just make sure that change has both documentation and a reason and flowed into the other aspects of the system so that nothing is incompatible in the end.
If you would like to know more about testing and test planning, look to the Iceni Group for answers.