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  1. #1

    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?


  2. #2
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    St. Louis - Year 2025

    Re: Balancing Functional versus Usability, Compatibility, etc.

    I don't think a percentage game is called for here. I think it should be determined based upon identifying what must be tested. That is the best starting point. Assuming the typical schedule compression exists on this project, I would ask that development unit test the most critical pieces; as well as take performance measurements of time-critical components. This means that they have done the necessary work to identify those pieces. The same process should be used for functional testing and any testing that can be done in parallel and beyond. It is best to plan each build so everyone marches to a series of scheduled builds containing certain building blocks known to all - so that effective test planning can occur.

    I could go on and on but it would take a book. The point is that if you play the percentage game - you will find out that what is actually needed for testing will not match your planned percentages and therefore you will have wasted effort on a useless exercise in my opinion. Even if you did have percentages - let us say 50% of all coded units get unit tested and 50% of the tangible features/functions get tested; that does not by any stretch give you 100% coverage!!! It gives you 50% or less. The two efforts are distinct. Unit testing does not typically diminish or remove the need for functional testing of the external functions allocated by those units.

    What absolutely has to work in order for the end-user to be successful? That should drive out the answers to your concern.

  3. #3

    Re: Balancing Functional versus Usability, Compatibility, etc.

    thanks for the feedback. Your points are well taken.

    I am dealing with folks who want to compare our process to best-in-industry practices, and they are focused on getting over simplified data to measure the effectiveness of our methodology. I agree with you that planning to spend "x" percent of our time on Usability Testing is flawed.



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