Test Monitoring and Control

Test Monitoring and Control

In order for our Test Manager to provide efficient test control, a testing schedule and monitoring framework needs to be established to enable tracking of test work products and resources against the plan. This framework includes detailed measures and targets that are needed to relate the status of test work products and activities to the plan and strategic objectives.

For small and less complex projects, it is relatively easy to relate test work products and activities to the plan and strategic objectives, but generally, more detailed objectives need to be defined to achieve this. This can include the measures and targets to meet test objectives and coverage of the test basis.

Of particular importance is the need to relate the status of test work products and activities to the test basis in a manner that is understandable and relevant to the project and business stakeholders.

Defining targets and measuring progress based on test conditions and groups of test conditions are used as a means to achieve this by relating other testing work products to the test basis via the test conditions. Properly configured traceability, including the ability to report on traceability status, makes the complex relationships that exist between development work products, the test basis, and the test work products more transparent and comprehensible.

Sometimes, the detailed measures and targets that stakeholders require to be monitored do not relate directly to system functionality or a specification, especially if there is little or no formal documentation. For example, a business stakeholder usually is more interested in establishing coverage against an operational business cycle even though the specification is defined in terms of system functionality. The involvement of business stakeholders at an early stage in a project can help define these measures and targets which not only can be used to help provide better control during the project but can also help to drive and influence the testing activities throughout the project. For example, stakeholder measures and targets may result in the structuring of test design and test implementation work products and/or test execution schedules to facilitate the accurate monitoring of testing progress against these measures. These targets also help to provide traceability for a specific test level and have the potential to help provide information traceability across different test levels.

Test control is an ongoing activity. It involves comparing actual progress against the plan and implementing corrective actions when needed. Test control guides the testing to fulfill the mission, strategies, and objectives, including revisiting the test planning activities as needed. Appropriate reactions to the control data depend on detailed planning information.