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Quality Engineering >> Requirements and Design

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CathY1D09
Newbie


Reged: 12/03/09
Posts: 2
Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents
      #604357 - 12/03/09 05:47 PM

Hi All,
I'm a new SQA Manager for a brand new QA Team.
I'm facing a problem where the Management and Development Team push many responsibilities to me, some of which I'm not sure either to reject or accept it. Among the responsibilities pushed to me are 1) Use Cases creation and 2) UAT Test Cases creation.

Can someone help me out on this? Is it QA responsibilities in preparing those documentations?

Thanks in advance.


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Joe Strazzere
Moderator


Reged: 05/15/00
Posts: 12344
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: CathY1D09]
      #604455 - 12/04/09 03:55 AM

Quote:

Is it QA responsibilities in preparing those documentations?




Different companies task different groups with preparation of documents.

But you are a new SQA Manager, and your Management says it is your responsibility to create these docs. Why would you think you are free to reject this responsibility?

--------------------
- Joe
Visit AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

I speak only for me. I do not speak for my employer, nor for anyone else.


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CathY1D09
Newbie


Reged: 12/03/09
Posts: 2
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: Joe Strazzere]
      #606792 - 12/20/09 09:40 PM

Thanks Joe.
The point is not on rejecting the responsibility given, but on what is the proper & acceptable process as a guideline.


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TnkerBell
Active Member


Reged: 09/01/08
Posts: 1051
Loc: Neverland
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: CathY1D09]
      #606801 - 12/20/09 10:58 PM

Cathy,

The term 'SQA' / QA also means different to different companies. If you mean this SQA , then preparing use cases and UAT docs is actually not your responsibility.

However, again it depends on the company you work in. Even though its not your job, you can take it up and provide an Value add to the company.

--------------------
Regards,
Tinker

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."
-e e cummings


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Joe Strazzere
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Reged: 05/15/00
Posts: 12344
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: CathY1D09]
      #606855 - 12/21/09 04:34 AM

Quote:

The point is not on rejecting the responsibility given, but on what is the proper & acceptable process as a guideline.




It's completely proper and acceptable to task QA with creating Use Cases and UAT Test Cases.

It's also completely proper and acceptable to have other teams create Use Cases and UAT Test Cases.

--------------------
- Joe
Visit AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

I speak only for me. I do not speak for my employer, nor for anyone else.


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CPat
Member


Reged: 12/08/09
Posts: 102
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: Joe Strazzere]
      #606890 - 12/21/09 06:42 AM

I faced a similar situation where we created an indepenent production support and operations team. Historically, the development team would construct, test and support applications in production. With the breakout, a lot of tasks were 'up in the air' and each team was pushing back.

I agree with Joe in that depending on the size of your organization, the task could fall within any of your operating groups. There was another thread from a week or two ago here:

http://www.sqaforums.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=605456&an=0&page=0#Post605456

I interpret your post as "I have too much work, they're trying to get me to write Use Cases". Your argument that this should fall under a different team is the wrong argument.

Here is how I found success when it happened to me. Instead of approaching different tasks individually, I compiled them into a document and attempted to provide a quarterly estimate of how much time it would take to perform these tasks. Then I sat down with my leadership and the other teams and presented them all at one time. Whereas before the development team was attempting to push several things in my direction, when I put them all on the table simultaneously, it made them a little more apprehensive.

Anyway, as we discussed, I presented my estimations and sought the buy-in from others. This helped me build a strong case for additional head count. Also, having strong relationships with the development managers helped me work out some deals behind the scenes.

So yeah, your boss ultimately makes the final decisions but with a little elbow grease and a spot of diplomacy you could improve your situation.


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jdess11
Newbie


Reged: 06/03/10
Posts: 1
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: CPat]
      #629130 - 06/03/10 06:48 AM

I think almost everyone is overwhelmed with their job requirements. Management is always trying to get employees to do more so that they don't have to add headcount.

One way of making the entire QA job easier is to implement a software system. I'm not sure if you already have one, but if you're just using spreadsheets, a system will help you organize your data, Use Cases and UAT Test Cases whil giving you a real-time look at what's going on in your company.

There are many great software choices, so look around. I'd recommend a configurable solution that is flexible.

Good luck!

http://tuppas.com/quality-assurance-software/quality-assurance-software.htm


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cirej2000
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Reged: 06/03/01
Posts: 95
Loc: Orange County, CA
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: jdess11]
      #629240 - 06/03/10 06:57 PM

Quite frankly I would hate to be tasked with defining use cases for the project as a QA Manager. Especially if the primary goal of my team is testing. UAT test? I wouldn't mind doing the development of such tests, but I wouldn't want to do this in a vacuum.

If your company doesn't have a mentality in which the entire company has a stake in the quality of their products, it could come back to bite in you in the assumption later on; if you don't lay some clear ground rules.

A Software Test team isn't a customer and I don't think they should be defining the acceptance criteria necessarily. They might sit down with the stakeholders and discuss what the criteria are for release acceptance and then create test cases based on that input.

The same thing with Use Cases. If you define the use cases as a QA Manager and not a product manager, customer, creator...you're setting yourself up for failure. If by creating use cases, however, they mean you sit down with the creator of the product and actual usage experts; and then interview them and pick their brains; then why not?

Just make sure you account for that in your plans and schedules. Make sure they are reviewed by the stakeholders.

Setting the right expectation is everything. If the company doesn't care about making quality a company-wide concern and just want to offload the "nuisance" to a "QA Team" (which is normally just a test team); then start working on your resume. You'll probably end up hating life down the road.

--------------------
Eric Jones
Chief Testing Consultant

ericj@qualitystart.org
QualityStart.org

http://www.qualitystart.org
"In Software Testing, The Right Start Is Everything!"


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patrick
Member


Reged: 07/06/00
Posts: 71
Loc: chicago, IL US
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: cirej2000]
      #634484 - 07/13/10 07:42 AM

Use cases are not a QA/QC activity, they are a business analysis activity and they need to be treated and acknowledged as such. Similarly, UAT is somewhat different and outside of what I'd consider the typical scope of QA/QC duties, and requires a somewhat different perspective than typical QC activities like functional or load testing.

However, each organization is different and I think it's feasible to be responsible for the management of these items if you maintain perspective. I've done use cases for years and don't think it's a conflict of interest or anything like that, and in fact greatly assists me in baseline understanding of the application for test planning.

One thing both of these things have in common is that, in order to be correctly and relevantly done, they require a thorough understanding of the business domain/business issues the application under test is intended to address. In the case of UAT the ability to assess the application under test's ability to address these needs is crucial. Many QA departments will not have this requisite knowledge and will need to get it from others within the organization or clients.

Without having input from, and access to, those with this knowledge, you do run the risk of doing your job "in a vacuum" with all the risks that entails. In this situation I think it's important to have input from, and review by, business stakeholders during the use case writing process, as well as input from, and preferably execution by, others during UAT. Additionally, UAT should allow for exploratory testing free from any test scripts by those most empathetic to actual users, if not actual users, in the organization.

A fresh, cross-discplinary perespective can be good at each stage of the development process, and if this is not available for an extended period, the organization runs the risk of having QA going into a tunnel, digging for a long time and coming out a few miles off course, so to speak. So, this seems doable, but must be carefully managed.

Edited by patrick (07/13/10 07:43 AM)


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Hanoz
Newbie


Reged: 06/29/10
Posts: 10
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: patrick]
      #635735 - 07/22/10 02:09 AM

Hi Cathy,

Use Case creation in the true sense of the phrase is the reponsibility of the business analysis department, assuming there is one. BA's write use cases, draw up UC diagrams, etc. in collaboration with the business. It is not a tester's or a test manager's job to do BA activities. Although I think in recent times, employers want strains of BA and QA in the same person, you situation is pushing the envelope of this new trend. If you're simply temporarily filling in for a more appropriate person, there might not be much harm after all.

As far as UAT Test Case creation, that's more in your aisle. Do this in collaboraion with business users so you know what scenarios need cpverage. I've written UAT test scripts as a Test Manager to ease my Test Analyst's work load.

If my opinion does not align with your situation, I really like CPat's response. Cirej2000 also has a good answer.


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Haris_Saleem
Newbie


Reged: 02/25/10
Posts: 11
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: cirej2000]
      #640681 - 08/31/10 09:52 PM


Quote:

A Software Test team isn't a customer and I don't think they should be defining the acceptance criteria necessarily. They might sit down with the stakeholders and discuss what the criteria are for release acceptance and then create test cases based on that input.




Completely Agreed, furthermore, as far as my knowledge is concerned, Use Case writing (and hence Eliciting the Requirements in Black and White) is a business analysis activity and should ideally be performed by a Business Analyst. One way or the other, you could have an "Analysis Team" consisting of Resources from SQA as well as Development (This will help as in the dispersion of knowledge and validation of the work done)


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JACR
Member


Reged: 02/10/11
Posts: 25
Loc: Maryland, USA
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: Haris_Saleem]
      #665694 - 03/24/11 09:02 AM

As others have said the answers to your questions vary widely from organization to organization. I would take this opportunity to lay out ALL of the tasks that need accomplishing - the "what", and then get into the "who". You may find you have more capacity than you thought, or you may be able to demonstrate to leadership how higher priority tasks will suck up your time.

In my organization the BAs are responsible for creating use cases.

UAT used to live in operations with me, but when I moved to IT it just kind of came with me because operations didn't take it up and, more importantly, because I wanted to protect my devs from uninformed users as best I could. I'm slowly feeding UAT responsibilities back to the business side, but if I see a need they aren't answering I do what I can to fill it. So yes, I write their test cases.


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mr2_freddy
Member


Reged: 08/30/07
Posts: 40
Loc: Miami, FL
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: JACR]
      #677407 - 07/05/11 08:04 AM

@Cathy, as the QA Manager, if you are given the responsibility of creating use cases as well as a UAT plan, then by all means JUMP ON IT! Seems you are being given an opportunity to drive the software outputs. Granted this could be done by others but if I were in your place, I'd jump on it!

IMHO

--------------------
Freddy Vega

Visit my blog
http://vgp-miami.blogspot.com/
Connect with me on LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/freddyvega


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YanGreenwood
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Reged: 01/13/11
Posts: 32
Loc: Qubec, Canada
Re: Who should prepare the Use Cases and UAT documents [Re: mr2_freddy]
      #691273 - 11/16/11 06:37 AM

After reading this topic, I'm wondering who is responsible for test cases and use cases. Is there a difference between Use cases and Test cases? Sure, test cases are based on use cases but can't they be both in the same hands?

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