Can anyone explain why risk assessment and management is critical to test planning and why risks impact project life cycle definition. What changes have you seen in the way organizations approach the subject of risk.
Risk assessment is important to the test plan(TP):
1. because part of the plan lists the risks involved in executing/not executing the 'test plan' as planned.
2. unforeseen risks cannot be mitigated and may cause the whole plan to go pear-shaped.
3. managing the risks helps to keep things in line so that the plan can "come together" (a la Hannibal from the A-Team)
Lets say we make a TP, and that plan is very happy it takes into account everything that the QA knows at that point. The system/application being tested has some interface with, lets call it, BADAPP. This interface is major and if BADAPP changes in just the right way then our happy plan will not be so happy.(BIG RISK) If we don't state the risk, assess amount of risk or probability of facing the risk and try to manage the risk then (this is only from the places I've been) we are asking for it. Other projects are going on and if any of them change BADAPP the right way then our happy plan will fail. Hard part - assess and manage risk when interacting apps are not within your control. Answer(here) - meetings 'til the cows come home, all cards on table from all apps all the time.