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Balancing Functional versus Usability, Compatibility, etc.
I would like to know what percentage of your overall test time is pre-allocated for Functional testing, Compatibility, Usability, etc. At my company there is one group of people (mostly SW engineers) that feel more up front Functional and Unit test planning is needed prior the official start of testing. Another group feels that Functional and Unit testing is used too much, and the majority of a test cycle should be devoted to Usability, Performance and Compatibility testing.
I would like as many opinions as possible. How much time (in percentages) do you allocate for each test method?
Re: Balancing Functional versus Usability, Compatibility, etc.
First, you already identified 2 stakeholders of the testing process: group 1 and group 2. Both have other needs, so both will claims another focus on the test activities (functional <-> usability, etc.). If you investigate further, you might find other stakeholders, claiming yet other priorities.
Ask yourself 'who has decision power?', 'who am I working for?'. Ultimately it are the clients that decide together on the priorities. I say clients, because some people will use the application, others will need to maintain it, still others will need to keep it operational. These are all your clients, and together they pay the price for testing, so together they should decide on the priorities.
Once you know the priorities, you can look at the test techniques you will use. This will result in the basic information for your test strategy on which you can base your estimation.
Giving % like that is not a good idea. Some applications will focus on usability (think about web applications), other applications will focus on safety (think about applications in hospitals), etc. For batch applications you will probably not test usability, and performance will be less important.
So your percentages will vary depending the type of application you're testing.