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  1. #1
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    Navigational testing

    When a new application is delivered to the QA team (a GUI app) for testing and it's clear that there's not enough time to test the whole thing, do you throw out navigational testing as one of the first items NOT to be tested?

    I ask because it looks like an app that I saw recently might have had that occur. In the first 5 minutes of just viewing the pages, I saw a column header that was actually a button that gained and lost focus but did nothing, and I saw that the tab order after entering a page of data went to the CANCEL button so that when ENTER was struck, all data was lost.

    To me these seem pretty big, the 2nd one for sure, but this app is delivered and those items were not tested due to the time factor.

    Who else does this and what impact on the rollout do you see?
    Jean James
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    I deliver what I promise, and I only promise what I can deliver.
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  2. #2
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
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    Re: Navigational testing

    I think if the business processes depend upon the navigation operating correctly - "throwing out" this type of testing would be a mistake.

  3. #3
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    Re: Navigational testing

    Agreed. So, what test type do you skip when time dictates that something be skipped?
    Regression?
    Security?
    Performance?
    Load?
    Minor functional pieces?
    Help files?
    Installation?
    A little bit of everything?
    Jean James
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    I deliver what I promise, and I only promise what I can deliver.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Navigational testing

    Hi Jean
    I think it would be a big mistake to select an entire area for skipping!
    So too would be randomly skipping a little bit of everything.
    My approach is to first identify everything that requires testing, and the type of testing required.
    Next, assign a risk value to each item - the risk of omitting to test. This risk is based on two high level criteria:
    1. The risk to the company
    2. The risk to the customers.

    Obviously, there is a large area of crossover between these two criteria - such crossovers instantly highlight areas we cannot ommit.

    Risk to the company is not just the risk of failure - it is also the risk of ommitting scripting and documenting testing, risk of full as opposed to representative tests, etc etc.

    When you have drawn up your list, the bottom items drop off. If this dropoff rises up to the high risk items - this is your argument for more time/people for testing. The argument includes the statement "Failure to supply time/people - proceed and be damned! You were warned."

    It is sad how many companies do not discover the mismatch between scope/time/resource until near the end of the development cycle. This usually can and should be identified during the early planning phases - and scope creep is no justification for getting this wrong!

    (Not lecturing you Jean, previous posts show that you know all this - my comments are for others reading this topic).

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    Re: Navigational testing

    The first thing I skip is validating help, other than the ability to get to it. Then I skip screen tests (is the icon the right size and color?), followed by boundary tests on fields. I won't cut anything further than that. If requested to do so, I give the test requirements to the client and ask them to take responsibility for any further cuts, making it clear (in writing) what the risk factors are and that by cutting the recommended testing effort, they have now assumed all responsibility for the quality of the product.

    I've only had one client that went that route, and the project they were working on was placed on hold a year later, still not installed. As soon as they moved to an integrated environment, the product failed.

    Linda

  6. #6
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    Re: Navigational testing

    Jean,
    I agree with KBEE01. Also I would like to add that it is always sad when a company is taking a perspective of "What can we not test?".

    You mentioned categories (Security, Performance, et al) as a possible basis for omission. I don't recommend whacking tests at the category level since tests in each category are important.

    I would start with factoring the below short list into what was stated by KBEE01 along with defining (not necessarily in order):
    1) what absolutely has to work.
    2) most important business processes
    3) most defect-prone areas
    4) most critical in terms of interfaces, etc.
    5) End-To-End tests

    (Above bullets are lower-level considerations. The point of this plus KBEE01's post is that this has to be considered at varying altitudes!)

    Are there specifications that must be met by the application? Which are the most important specs? Which have to be met?

    I could go on and on...

    [ 08-04-2003, 06:03 AM: Message edited by: jpensyl ]

  7. #7
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    Re: Navigational testing

    If you think about it, using any of these methods would have probably missed the errors Jean found. I think it proves the point that skipping any tests, regardless of how trivial they appear, introduces risk.

    I also think it probable that the staff that tested the application were inexperienced. Most experienced testers would have minimally zapped through the navigation and buttons on the screen, even if they were focusing on important/critical functionality. I don't think we can help ourselves...

    - Linda

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    Re: Navigational testing

    Originally posted by ljeanwilkin:
    If you think about it, using any of these methods would have probably missed the errors Jean found. I think it proves the point that skipping any tests, regardless of how trivial they appear, introduces risk.
    - Linda
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">Linda,
    the point is, yes things will be missed by omitting any tests - are the things missed important? If you miss important things, you did not assess the risks very well. e.g. is pressing the cancel button likely to do damage or just annoy. Is annoyance a high risk factor?

    I also think it probable that the staff that tested the application were inexperienced. Most experienced testers would have minimally zapped through the navigation and buttons on the screen, even if they were focusing on important/critical functionality. I don't think we can help ourselves...
    - Linda
    [/QUOTE]
    I agree totally.
    Formal testing is never really enough. Instinctive and incidental testing always has value. The point is, the emphasis is not placed on this type of testing when scope > resource/time.
    To get to a testable function, navigation is usually required and hence tested.
    This is one difference between testers that have to test and natural born testers. The former will often behave like robots, ignoring anything not specifically listed, not questioning behaviour, just ticking the boxes as soon as possible. The latter TEST and THINK.

    Keith

 

 

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