Quality Testing

Quality is delighting customers

To aid in this discussion, let's agree to think about software testing in terms of five general categories of activities:

Researching information to improve or enhance testing -- This information may come from specifications, use cases, technical design documentation, contracts, industry standards, competing applications, or almost anything else that is likely to improve a tester's ability to test the software deeper, faster or better.

Planning and/or designing tests -– This category would encompass such activities as writing test cases, developing test strategies, writing test plans, creating manual test scripts and preparing test data.

Scripting and/or executing tests –- Here is where tests are actually executed and/or automated. This is what most non-testers think of when they hear someone talk about software testing.

Analyzing test results and new information –- Not all tests produce results that clearly pass or fail. Many tests result in data that can only be understood by human judgment and analysis.

Additionally, changing specifications, deadlines or project environments can make a test that had been clearly passing fail without anything changing in the software. This category is where this type of analysis occurs.

Reporting relevant information -- Reporting defects and preparing compliance reports are what come to mind first for most people, but a tester may need to report all kinds of additional information.
Again, these five categories are intended to be simple in order to make our discussion about testing models easier. They aren't intended to supplant your current terminology.

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