Briefing: Succeeding when you've no time to test

Briefing: Succeeding when you've no time to test
On many projects, testing elements are treated like separate, second-class activities, frequently being used as a form of contingency to absorb development overrun. This is particularly true where products need to be delivered to strict timetables and there is the feeling that there is just no time for testing.

But when testing is not performed the consequences can be catastrophic, negating any good work done in the other parts of the programme. So the testing function is here is to stay and ends up being perceived as some type of delivery prevention mechanism. It highlights problems that will take significant time and effort to deal with, at the eleventh hour, presenting the management with a series of difficult compromises. And, of course, the project limps home late. But it doesn't have to be like that

No Time To Test Briefing

This briefing session looks at how to plan and manage for the likely event that there will be no time for testing and how to transform testing from a barrier to an accelerator of delivery

Briefing format and content

The session starts with a short, simple exercise on testing. This will explore different types of testing, and the relationship between risk, effort and time in testing. One of the key outcomes will be to show the high level of variability and inconsistency in a group of intelligent people when they are faced with answering, what appear to be, straight-forward questions on testing

Following this we will present a framework for effective testing and how this can be applied to programmes. As with most things, testing can expand to fit the time available and we will look at how to control testing, prioritise it and use the information provided to help monitor the state of the programme and forecast the direction its heading. This will draw on cases from the many programmes we’ve worked on, where there have been dramatic reductions in elapsed time and effort

We will examine getting the most from available resources; such as testing tools that may have been inappropriately applied or put on the shelf. We will also look at where you need specialists and where you can use generalists, and how to improve the results from people conscripted into the test team who are often reluctant testers

Finally we aim to show that testing need not be a dry and boring topic; it is as interesting and vibrant as any other area in the IT arena (obviously with the exception of programme and project management)

The session should last 1 to 1½ hours and can be tailored to fit the audience. Contact Acutest to request a session.

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