The Never-Finished Axiom: Testing never finishes; it stops

Summary

Recognise that testing is usually time limited and may not complete. Manage the expectations of testers and stakeholders accordingly.

Consequence if ignored or violated

Testers are frustrated that testing is stopped early. Stakeholders lose confidence and are reluctant to make decisions based on incomplete evidence.

Questions

  • Are stakeholders aware that testing probably will not complete in planned timescales?
  • Do testers appreciate that all tests might not be run, that the acceptance decision may be made on incomplete evidence and that the accepted system could be imperfect?
  • Are testers prepared to inform, advise and facilitate the acceptance decision?
  • What role will the testers have in presenting test evidence and completion (or incompletion) status?
  • How will the testers support stakeholders in judging the relevance/significance of inconclusive evidence?