Using Commonly Captured Data to Improve Testing Processes

[article]
Summary:

For a variety of reasons, many test organizations routinely collect data on defects found during testing, on tests that were run, on estimated time and actual time spent testing, on code coverage, and on customer-reported problems, among other things.

For a variety of reasons, many test organizations routinely collect data on defects found during testing, on tests that were run, on estimated time and actual time spent testing, on code coverage, and on customer-reported problems, among other things.

Some of these data only become collectable after formal processes are put in place, while others can be obtained with minimal effort. The subject of this paper is to describe a case study of collecting and using the latter type of data. Four databases are used to track defect data, log test cases, and log customer calls. These data are used to guide efforts at improving the testing process, the test materials, and the databases themselves. For many testing organizations, these data are already available. If not, they are easy to collect.

About the author

Dean Lapp's picture Dean Lapp

Dean Lapp is an Advisory QA Analyst with Minitab Inc., located in State College, Pennsylvania, USA. Employed by Minitab since 1986, he has worked in technical support as well as various positions within the quality assurance group. He managed the testing group from 1994 through 1997 and worked as a software process engineer from 1997 to 1999. He is currently working in an advisory capacity, which includes helping to train and mentor new testers. He also focuses on test process improvement. But his real passion continues to be testing new code and finding new bugs.

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