Improving the Testing Process

Contents of the Syllabus

The syllabus starts with an introduction to the fundamental issues concerning improvement to the testing process. Basic questions like "why improve testing?" and "what can be improved?" are considered and the different ways that stakeholder can view quality are described.

There are a number of different approaches which can be applied to improve the test process; overviews of these approaches are provided.

Model-based improvement is considered in depth by first examining fundamental aspects of using models and then describing and comparing a number of well known test improvement models of various types.

Analytical approaches for improving the testing process, such as causal analysis, are covered in as much details as the model-based approaches. Metrics play a significant role in analytical approaches so a number of these are covered, together with an approach for using metrics effectively e.g., the GQM-approach.

An expert in this field will be expected to select the right approach for a given situation. The factors to consider are covered and the relative benefits of each approach are compared.

The task of improving test process is itself a process which can be described in several steps including the setting of scope and objectives for improvement, assessing the current situation, analyzing results, performing solution analysis, suggesting improvements and priorities, creating an improvement plan, implementing the plan and gaining knowledge from each improvement cycle. The syllabus details each of these steps according to a standard process definition.

Different organization forms for implementing improvements to the testing process are covered, including the impact of offshoring on those organizations. The typical roles to be found in these organizations are described and the wide range of different skills required for effectively performing those roles are detailed.

Management of change is essential in rolling out improvements to the test process into projects and organizations. In particular, the human factos in the change management process are covered in the syllabus. A wide range of different skills is covered including those needed for effective interviewing and for performing analysis.

The syllabus concludes with a detailed consideration of critical success factors.

The Improving the Testing Process syllabus can be divided into two parts:

Assessing Test Processes

Implementing Test Process Improvement

Business Outcomes

The expert test process improver is able to perform each of the following tasks:

  • Lead programs for improving the testing process within an organization or project and can identify and manage critical success factors
  • Take appropriate business-driven decisions on how to approach improvement to the test process
  • Assess the current status of a test process, propose step-wise improvements and show how these are linked to achieving business goals
  • Set up a strategic policy for improving the testing process and implement that policy
  • Analyze specific problems with the test process and propose effective solutions
  • Create a test improvement plan which meets business objectives
  • Develop organizationals concepts for improvement of the test process which include required roles, skills and organizational structure
  • Establish a standard process for implementing improvement to the test process within an organization
  • Manage the introduction of changes to the test process, including co-operation with the sponsors of improvements
  • Understand and effectively manage the human issues associated with assessing the test process and implementing necessary changes