Numerous textbooks address software testing in a structured development
environment. By “structured” is meant a well-defined development cycle in
which discretely defined steps provide measurable outputs at each step. It
is assumed that software testing activities are based on clearly defined
requirements and software development standards, and that those standards
are used to develop and implement a plan for testing. Unfortunately,
this is often not the case. Typically, testing is performed against changing,
or even wrong, requirements.
This text aims to provide a quality framework for the software testing
process in the traditional structured as well as unstructured environments.
The goal is to provide a continuous quality improvement approach
to promote effective testing methods and provide tips, techniques, and
alternatives from which the user can choose.
The basis of the continuous quality framework stems from Edward Deming’s
quality principles. Deming was the pioneer in quality improvement,
which helped turn Japanese manufacturing around. Deming’s principles
are applied to software testing in the traditional “waterfall” and rapid application
“spiral” development (RAD) environments. The waterfall approach
is one in which predefined sequential steps are followed with clearly
defined requirements. In the spiral approach, these rigid sequential steps
may, to varying degrees, be lacking or different.