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  1. #1
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    Externally Developed/Tested Projects

    'ello, all.

    At the company where I'm consulting, I've been asked to install, configure, and help to implement Test Director on a project that's just entering into the design phases. The issue I'm running into is that while the work is being done 'in house' technically, because the Dev and QA teams are on site, it is external in that the entire project was outsourced.

    I'm having trouble coming up with creative ways to 'intercede' my feedback, or the type of processes I'd implement to use Test Director meaningfully on the Requirements, Analysis and testing of a project when the developers, project managers, and even the QA folks for this project are from an 'outside' firm. The client I work for will have Project Managers working with those from the outside firm, but no development or QA people.

    Anyone have suggestions about how to make sure that there's as little contention as possible, at the same time that I'm sure to be completing the project at the level that I would want to in order to professionally represent myself as I have to this point?

    Hmm.. here's hoping the question makes sense.

    Thanks in advance.

    ------------------
    Cheers!~
    Annemarie

    "It won't take much to test - I only changed 1 line of code." From "Top 10 Stupid Comments from Developers"

  2. #2
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    Re: Externally Developed/Tested Projects

    Ah, you have become the client. Or as many here like to refer to them - the "evil" client. While you will technically be doing User Acceptance testing, it may be quite detailed in nature. For example, some people have posted questions in the past about how to test outsourced libraries or components. In this case, the User Acceptance Test involves invoking the code and integrating it with other units that your developers have built. In effect, it would be similar to unit testing on an in-house project.

    If this consulting firm does not see the value of involving the client throughout the process, then it may cost them in the end. On the other hand - do you let your clients see all of your defects during unit and system testing? There seems to be a lot of territorialism with multiple QA teams on one project.

    As far as getting them to use your methods and tools - they probably will not. However, you could check with them to see if they already entered the requirements in a tool or built test cases. Those may be considered deliverables for the project. You could import the data to save yourself the keystrokes. However, you should probably independently track requirements, build test cases and manage your test effort anyway, just to ensure everything is covered.

  3. #3
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    Re: Externally Developed/Tested Projects

    See, that's where it gets sticky. They *have* agreed to implement the same tools that we use here, and are planning to. The issue is that I'm being asked to step into a role where I'm not sure that I'll be welcomed by the contracting firm. They are already upset that I convinced the PM that automation should begin to take place prior to UAT. (The contracting firm is not responsible for UAT, and would therefore not have to develop any automated scripts if they convinced us that they weren't needed)

    So I'm not sure how best to handle issues of process, standards, etc., when I'm sort of on the outside looking in - and it will be for the duration of the project, as opposed to just the UAT after final delivery.

    Quite the quandry, yes?

    ------------------
    Cheers!~
    Annemarie

    "It won't take much to test - I only changed 1 line of code." From "Top 10 Stupid Comments from Developers"

  4. #4
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    Re: Externally Developed/Tested Projects

    What quandry? Whether they want to hear about the problems or not, you are the customer. And what the customer wants, the customer gets. Now there are things you can do to alleviate the tension this may cause (since you actually know what you're doing and most of their customers probably don't).

    First, be upfront and specific about what you will expect them to do and what is your responsibility (yes, you have some). Second, invite them to regularly scheduled process review meetings (and be willing to listen to their suggestions for improvement) and regularly scheduled issue resolution meetings. Communication is the key. If they see you being fair, and they see that you aren't backstabbing them to your management, they will be more apt to play along. If you don't do these things, you'll end up with a wary supplier and you'll get the standard excuses and responses you get from unfriendly internal developers. If you force them to cya, they will. If you play fair, they will too.


    ------------------
    Susan Gates
    Susan Gates

 

 

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