defect

A manifestation of human error in our system. Defects can cause systems to fail in serious and often unpredictable ways.

The Repeat-Test Axiom: Some repeated tests are inevitable

Summary

Define and agree a policy for re-testing and regression testing; make an allowance for repeat-tests in estimates and plans.

Consequence if ignored or violated

Tests to confirm that defect fixes work correctly are not run. Tests to confirm that defect fixes do not cause unwanted side-effects are not run.

Questions

  • Under what circumstances will failed tests be re-run?
  • Under what circumstances will passed tests be re-run?
  • What criteria will be applied for the retention of tests for reuse?
  • Under what circumstances will retained tests be discarded or amended?
  • For the purpose of planning, how will the following be estimated or defined:
    • The proportion of tests that fail?
    • The time required for defect fixing and re-testing?
    • The proportion of tests to be used for regression purposes?

The Scope Management Axiom: If we don’t manage scope, we may never meet stakeholder expectations

Summary

Testers need to identify and agree the items in and out of scope and manage change of scope over time.

Consequence if ignored or violated

Stakeholders assume ‘everything’ will be tested. Tests outcomes of no interest to stakeholders are reported.

Questions

  • How do stakeholders define the scope of the system and what needs testing?
  • What sources of knowledge are available to define and understand scope in detail?
  • What are the (likely) drivers for change?
  • How will testers accommodate changes of scope?
  • How will testers analyse the impact of change of scope?
  • Do testers have the authority to resist or challenge change?
  • How will defect fixes be assured (through re-testing)?
  • How will testers test changes?
  • How will testers communicate the status of changes?
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