I'm an experienced tester/lead: worked for various companies over the years and have had to adapt to their various styles and standards. Most don't state who their intended audience are for their test plans, so I have developed my own preferred style of writing manual tests.
My current client, where I'm working on a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery project, went through a change in focus a few years back that is still rumbling through the various QA groups in the different business units. They moved from writing tests aimed at "the man off the street" to a knowledgeable user, a move that was met with much resistance and still needs to be re-clarified in the various reviews and walk-throughs.
My role will require me to roll-out a new methodology, in that the tests need to be at a higher level, aimed at a Subject Matter Expert, who knows the applications being tested intimately. Also, the focus is in verifying whether the restored software works as before, i.e. expediting an assessment (pass, fail or needs more investigation). The focus should not be in proving that all functionality is tested again.
The tests will be written by QA, but executed by the SMEs, almost never by QA. With a higher-level approach, the tests will be much easier to write and maintain.
As this different focus is rolled out, I'm anticipating two different stances:
I don't like this level of detail, but it makes my life easier and if the SME is happy with this, then I'll support it.
What's the point of this? Nothing's being tested, I can't possibly support this.
Is my assessment of the possible responses realistic? What's the best way of approaching such attitudes? I'd like to think that there will be some willing participants and perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic, but I have been amazed by various examples of QA intransigence I've witnessed over the years.