How many companies actually create test plans using EVERY point of the IEEE 829 standard template?

Justin Frye's picture
Justin Frye asked on February 5, 2019 - 4:04pm | Replies (2).

I am on a team of two working on standardizing testing for the company. The culture here is very resistant to change, as I am sure many colleagues on here have experienced themselves. I want to continue pushing this elephant up the stairs, but I am afraid some of these templates (IEEE 829 standard templates) are too dense for most of them. My mentality right now is to take this in strides. I want to avoid creating a 12 part test plan that people need to follow if they are just going to get defensive and say they do not have the time to even test, or test this way. Of course we have plans to educate as much as we can, but this is going to take years. What are your suggestions, then, with creating templates? Right now I have identified three that need to be used across all teams (Test Strategy, Test Plan, and Test Summary). We have plans on creating a best practice document/resource for teams to educate them on the industry standards.

2 Answers

Justin Rohrman's picture

I think it's pretty rare for companies to use every point of an IEEE standard for test documentation, and for good reason. Anything more than what you need for your organization is time spent doing something other than testing software. It might be good to review the purpose of the standard, and ask how it is serving your role and your organization. 

Craig Kam's picture
Craig Kam replied on February 22, 2019 - 7:50pm.

I would tend to agree with Justin's comments.  One suggestion would be to create what I call a 'cafeteria' approach to the problem.  Typically, as Justin noted, not all the items in the IEEE standards will apply to your efforts.  I would pick out the most pertinent items (your choice of course) and assign risk values to NOT implementing them (opportunity costs).  Then factor in the relative costs of implementing the standards.

The opportunity costs are most easily recognized as time.  For example, it takes  'X' number of days to perform some task the old way.  Implementing this new standard would reduce the time to some 'X - Y'.  As we all all know time is money.  The time saved might be due to things like streamlining processes or due to reducing defects leaked to the field and the related costs.

What I am talking about is return on investment or ROI.  You have to make a convincing argument that implementing these new standards will save the company time and therefore money.  Not an easy task.

You might try to pick some low hanging fruit to get things started.  Show some success and you might get more cooperation.

Let me know if you'd like some further discussions on this topic.



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