The end of tests according to “Project management triangle”

Posted on February 18, 2016

Every product has to be tested. What is more, it has to be tested well and the perfect product would be totally debugged, with no mistakes in it, with the best efficiency etc. There is no way to do something like that, it always could be better, faster, nicer and more useful. And now we can ask:

WHEN can we say that our product is finished? When can we stop testing?

Like I said, it is impossible to eliminate every bug and make our product perfect unless we have infinite time. Every project has time limits and of course it can be changed if we want to but it is always some specified time. Sometimes it is deadline and then our client want to start using product, sometimes we have time limits connected to testers number working hours. Of course in given amount of hours we should do as much tests and fixes as possible to make our product closer to perfection, but for sure we should stop testing when time of production is finished.

TIME is first answer for this this question.

But wait a moment… Time is out but our product is not ready. In fact it can be showed to anybody like that. What we should do now? There is a factor which we can manipulate. Lack of time can be compensated by increasing budget – we’ve got two possible ways to use it. Imagine the situation when you have one week to finish product and test it well and now it depends if you set this time limit or your client did. If it was your time estimation you can use increased budget to lengthen time for project. If end of the week is deadline set by your client, you should think about hiring additional people – together you will finish work faster and make it better than alone. Budget is factor that give a possibility to work faster, longer and more productive. But the most important thing is to have really well planned work because not always we can increase costs and then we have to do everything to make product as good as possible without changing the budget. So this is the next limited factor which shows us when we should finish work.

The end of BUDGET does not allow for further testing.

If we know about limits when we start planning project we already know that our project won’t be perfect. Then we can set quality of our project. Quality contains not only quality but also usability of features, functionalities and efficiency. And this is our goal. We test as long as we reach setted quality of product. A good plan based on experience can be accurate. It is also factor which we can manipulate and set it comparing to other factors. And this is the last answer:

Stop testing when setted QUALITY is reached.

And now most important thing: all 3 factor are closely related to each other. The name of this correlation is “Project Management Triangle”:

project management triangle

A well planned project is located inside this triangle – we always want to reach the best quality without crossing budget limit or setted time. It is always a compromise.

And according to this magic triangle we can say that there are 2 ways to stop testing: optimistic and pessimistic.

Worst case scenario example:

  • budget is out and can’t be increased
  • we are almost out of time
  • the end of amount of hours for testing and we can’t lengthen it
  • quality is enough

Best case scenario example :

  • setted quality is reached
  • all functionalities and features are realised
  • desirable percentage of tests passed
  • we still have time
  • we still have budget

To sum up, in every project the most important thing is to communicate with client cause only client knows how much he wants to invest in his product, when he want to start using it and how flexible that date is. As a response he should get the highest possible quality of his product. And this is what we do 😉

Krzysztof Pawlak

Project Manager & Tester