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Requirements-Driven Testing: A Must for Delivering Quality Software : Page 2

How to develop high-quality enterprise software that the business needs, even if the needs keep changing.


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    Visual business scenarios are an effective means of communicating business process flows and concepts. Process visualization coupled with simulations helps reduce ambiguity and for most stakeholders, presents an instantaneous way to recognize sequencing issues, broken decision points, missing process steps, and opportunities for innovation – all of which are easily missed when you are limited only to a text based approach to describing business concepts and processes.

    2.       Tests that align with requirements

    Effort put into defining the paths that users can take within an application is a wise investment because this information is used to create test cases for each path.  With the ability to calculate the magnitude of requirements risk and complexity, QA staff can identify high risk areas in an application and in doing so help set testing priorities.  This in turn ensures that effort is effectively spent and not wasted on over or under engineered functionality.



    Generating tests cases directly from requirements also means that QA staff becomes active participants in the development process from inception and not as an afterthought.  By doing this, you create an environment where test planning and effort estimation can become much more realistic.  And they become more accurate, because they have been validated early in the process.

    3.       Managing the process

    A best practice necessitates close connection between your testing and requirements tools.  That synchronization allows both business analysts and quality assurance personnel to be stay connected even as plans and priorities change.  New requirements can be used to generate new cases. Those test cases should be added to test plans along with traceability links to ensure that impact analyses can be effectively conducted. This lets managers spot where test coverage has been lost.

    Changed requirements can be modified in accordance with new refinements to business logic.  And requirements that are de-scoped can be removed from the testing plan to keep it always current. This traceability also applies “end to end” to include linkages to changes, tasks, and even code. This ensures that even as requirements change, test plans are synchronized and risk points identified.

Development is about delivering applications that the business needs.  So, how do managers ensure that the software that they plan to release is indeed ready? Managers need visibility into application quality as it moves from inception to delivery.  Are defect rates declining below mandated thresholds? Managers must know the answers to these questions before giving a release the green light and in order to make the complex development process more predictable.

So, you should investigate a centralized quality management platform.  Managers can monitor via dashboards the readiness of an application.  They can track and trend risk exposure, defect rates, change volatility, and other management tasks.  You should also be able to integrate information and the ability to control diverse test assets from across tools, from across methodologies, and from across teams to ensure coverage.

Conclusion

Requirements-driven testing helps drive high quality software that the business needs.  To do so, however, necessitates an effective approach.  By visualizing and simulating requirements, you gain more accurate understanding of business needs.  By generating test cases directly from requirements you accelerate and increase the accuracy of the testing process.  And by linking test management to requirements you ensure control over go/no-go decisions.



Peter Mollins is head of product marketing for application management and quality (AMQ) for Micro Focus.
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