The Development of a Thorough Test Plan in the Analysis Phase Leading to more Successful Software Development Projects

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Vol: 5, Issue: 1

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Nindel-Edwards, Jim; Steinke, Gerhard
Requirements management; test plan; test plan checklist; functional requirements; missing requirements; Management Information Systems
article description
A critical problem in many software development projects is missing some important requirements until late in the development life cycle. The impact of a missing or misunderstood requirement can add to the project cost and delay product launch due to rework both of the application code, documentation updates, and addition test passes. Building a thorough test plan very early in the product development cycle has the potential for early discovery of missing requirements with attendant reduction in project costs and schedule improvement. In this paper we discuss some of the causative factors of how and why requirements can be missed in software development projects and show how the early formulation of a test plan can directly address these factors. Key to the success of this approach is the understanding that mature tests often go beyond the documented requirements for applications and into exploring the boundaries of the application domain where missing requirements can often be uncovered. In addition the test methodology of looking at features from multiple users' perspectives and less common use cases, shed light on misinterpreted and/or misunderstood requirements.