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A Few Essential Commandments of Process Control – Part II

The Process for Testing the "Brickles" Game
The Process for Testing the "Brickles" Game

Process management. Process management does not imply strict adherence to a detailed schedule, as it does not mean totalitarianism and suppression of individuality. Process management implies the existence of effective mechanisms using which all participants in the process can receive information related to the improvement of those parts of the process in which they are directly involved. Process management includes feedback, training and a wide range of opportunities, and is aimed at creating a team atmosphere where people will strive to improve themselves, their product and the world around them.

Quantitative measurements and metrics. We are dealing with engineering science, and not with art, and therefore objectivity is a requirement necessary to control the process. In engineering science, quantitative measurements are the key to objectivity. In computer science, quantitative measurements rely mainly on metrics (GRAD92, MOLL93, GRAD87, ZUSE90).

Configuration control is as old as Imhotep, the great builder of the pyramids. It means that at any time we can check the result of our work (program, requirements or, say, a test kit) and find out: who, what, where, when, why and how. The configuration of everything that is planned to be worked on should be controlled, and everything that is not controlled is simply not included in our product.

Requirements. What do we create? Are all up on the product to be created? Does everyone mean the same thing? Here one should insist on documenting the work being done, because human memory is unreliable.

Traceability requirements. Where did the requirements come from? If, as often happens, the requirements change during the development of the program, what other requirements will it affect? Traceability means that requirements are reflected in the software components and vice versa. However, do not require or expect a one-to-one correspondence, as requirements and app components are not displayed in a one-to-one style. Improve quality of software apps under development – outsource qa to competent overseas testing specialists and the result will nicely surprise you.

Strategic nuances. Who this software is developed for? What do customers and users expect from the program, other than the general usability? Will not this program become a nightmare for the user? Will it be second to none? Will it improve our reputation? Will it bring in a big income? Will it be the fastest? There are hundreds of such strategic tasks, and management determines the relative importance of each of them. Without such guidance (preferably specified in quantitative form), it is impossible to determine the design goals or understand when these goals are achieved.

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