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Test Guidelines
A documented record of any of the following: process control and enactment decisions, standards to be adhered to, or good-practice guidance generally to be followed by the practitioners on a given project.
UML Representation: There is no UML representation for this artifact.
Role: Test Designer 
Optionality/ Occurrence: One or more artifacts. We recommend that you maintain at least one artifact to record your test process enactment decisions, and at least one artifact to capture the new practices you discover. May be initially inherited and reused from the controlling organization.
Enclosed in: Some process control and enactment aspects of the Test Guidelines can be presented appropriately within the Software Development Plan or the Iteration Test Plan.
Templates:
Examples:
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Input to Activities:    Output from Activities:   

Purpose To top of page

Test Guidelines serve two related, yet subtly different purposes:

  • To record adjustments (often tactical) to the way the process is enacted on a given project.
  • To capture project-specific practices discovered during the dynamic enactment of the process.

Brief Outline To top of page

As discussed in Activity: Develop Test Guidelines, it's useful to think of Guidelines as coming under one of three general categories: project control and enactment guidance (either strategic or tactical), standards adherence, and project-specific practices.

Here are some suggestions for topics that could be addressed by Test Guidelines:

1. Project control and enactment

  • The following topics are typically discussed as part of the Iteration Test Plan:
    • The Goals of Testing
    • Key Measures of Test
    • Test Completion Criteria  
     
  • The following topics are typically discussed as part of the Change Management and Build management Plans:
    • Defect Management Guidelines
    • Change Management Criteria

    However, it is useful to consider how these guidelines will affect the enactment and scheduling of the test process, and present the Iteration Test Plan accordingly.

2. Standards Adherence

  • Naming Conventions for Test Assets
  • Test Automation language conventions — Variable naming, use of language features, style conventions.
  • Required compliance with formally recognized or certified standards — ISO, IEEE, and so forth

3. Project-specific practices

  • Arguably the most rich and interesting category of guideline. Often heuristic in nature, typical subjects include:
    • Test Idea Catalogs
    • Test Automation Function Library Catalog
    • A repository of code examples common  to Test Automation problems
    • Test Automation Frameworks
    • Test Patterns
    • Documented Failure and Fault Models

Properties To top of page

There are no UML representations for these properties.

Property Name

Brief Description

Name An unique name used to identify this Test Guideline.
Description A short description of the contents of the Test Guideline, typically giving some high-level indication of complexity and scope.
Purpose An explanation of what this Test Guideline represents and why it is important.
Dependent Test and Evaluation Items Some form of traceability or dependency mapping to specific elements such as individual requirements that need to be referenced.

Timing To top of page

If possible, this artifact should initially be produced in the Inception phase, and then, on an ongoing basis, in each Build or Iteration cycle in all remaining phases.

Responsibility To top of page

The Test Designer is the role primarily responsible for this artifact. The responsibilities are split into two main areas of concern:

The primary set of responsibilities covers the following process management issues:

  • Deciding on what Test Guidelines to follow.
  • Defining internal conventions and standards.
  • Documenting those decisions.
  • Documenting good-practice guidelines for reuse.

The secondary set of responsibilities covers the following design and implementation issues:

  • Identifying emerging good practices.
  • Understanding and defining the key aspects of each practice.

Tailoring To top of page

You should use an appropriate medium, based on the category of Test Guidelines and on the culture of the project team; that might mean a document or an intranet Website. Both process enactment and control, as well as standards, guidelines typically suit either a text-based planning document or a static Web site.

For gathering and developing practitioner heuristic guidelines, we recommend you consider using a WikiWikiWeb as discussed in Activity: Develop Test Guidelines or some other form of collaborative, interactive groupware.

Regarding the Test Guideline template that comes with RUP, you may want to tailor it in the following ways:

  • Some sections may be removed or added to handle the specific features and limitations of the specific programming language.
  • Some of the sections may be irrelevant for your project.
  • The order of the various sections may vary, depending on the system's stakeholders and their focus or interest.


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