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True North Software Testing: How Methodologies Keep Projects On Course

If the 3 Perils of Software Development™—Defects, Delays, and Dollars—are regularly driving your projects off schedule and over budget, getting your QA and testing team back on course can be hard.  That’s why applying a metrics-based testing methodology is so important—it’s the most reliable course correction there is. 

True North Software Testing: How Methodologies Keep Projects On Course

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A testing methodology is how testers work smarter, not harder.
It’s a preventative, proactive measure that shores up testing/QA organizations and promotes efficiency throughout the entire Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

Have you ever been completely lost before?

You might have to think back to a simpler time.  A time without GPS, Google Maps, or other technological crutches.  Maybe you were in the woods on a hike, or took a wrong turn on a road trip?

Remember how hard it was to find your way back?  Without a foolproof navigational aid to guide you, your journey was probably far longer than it needed to be—riddled with wrong turns, missteps, and helpless uncertainty.

If only you had a compass.  Then you could find True North…then you could get back home.

That feeling you’re reliving right now is the same way a lot of CIOs, project managers, developers, software testers, and QA professionals often feel: acutely aware they’re off course, but unable to get back on track.  Except instead of being lost themselves, it’s the software projects they’re responsible for that have lost their way.

Ask anyone in IT (and even some people in the business) and they’ll tell you the same thing: the stormy seas of software development pose a considerable risk for software projects.  Like icebergs on the horizon, perilous obstacles lie in wait to set your initiatives off course.  Chief amongst these are the 3 Perils of Software Development: Defects, Delays, and Dollars.  Lurking beneath the surface of your software initiatives, the 3 Perils can sink your projects in a maelstrom of mounting rework, slipping release dates, and busted budgets.

The effects of the 3 Perils are universal and wide-ranging.  In fact, according to the Standish Group, only a mere 6 percent of major software projects are considered “successful” upon release—coming in on time, on budget, and with their originally-anticipated scope.

That means 94% of projects are off course in some way or another—which also means those project teams are trying to find their way back.  What they need is a guide.  What they need is True North.

And if one is looking to find True North in software testing, there’s no faster way to get back on course than by applying a metrics-based software testing methodology. 

Too often, testing/QA teams are asked to work in an ad-hoc manner—operating without formalized test cases and relying solely upon their own intuition and familiarity with the test environment.  But without an efficient and mature software testing/QA organization to catch defects, prevent delays, and create value for IT, those teams will have a hard time consistently delivering quality results—leaving projects vulnerable to the 3 Perils™ and preventing project teams from ever finding their way back.

A testing methodology is how testers work smarter, not harder.  By applying a defined set of processes, standards, tools, and frameworks, QA teams will be able to perform at a consistent level on every project—ensuring fewer late-stage defects, less budget-busting rework, and more timely releases.  It’s a preventative, proactive measure that shores up testing/QA organizations and promotes efficiency throughout the entire Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

At Lighthouse, we’ve seen these effects firsthand.  Most of our clients were lost in some way or another when they came to us, but our very own True North Testing Methodology has helped us get their projects back on course—while our True North Testing Assessments have shown them exactly how they can apply it to their own organizations.

After all, we didn’t choose the name “Lighthouse” for nothing.  When a ship is lost at sea, what guides it back to safe harbor?  A fixed point on the horizon—a veritable True North.  With the shining beacon of a Lighthouse to guide you, you’ll never lose your way.

Cheers,

Mike Hodge
Lighthouse Technologies, Inc.
Software Testing | Quality Assurance Consulting | Oracle EBS Consulting

 
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