Test, Execution and Recording

“It will work…” (Probably)

Based on Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels
Passed?

No product manager wants to be confirming their solution’s viability without the backup of evidence. It is imperative to test and assure your process or product. Tests should demonstrate conformance with, all the vital parameters that comprise your design; regulatory compliance; ongoing quality.

This whole quality cycle should include test, execution and recording functions.

Appropriate Testing

Cradle TER module - Test Case
Test Case

We should accept that these tests, and the effort used, should be commensurate with the importance of the design element. There’s every reason to test whether a product can place components with sub-millimetre accuracy if we’re designing a circuit board pick and place machine, but within a few mm is probably good enough for a machine placing variable size apples in a packing crate. When testing the same product used in different situations the complexity and accuracy of the test will change. Measuring the slump and hardness of concrete for a garden path, is probably judged by eye, three level compaction in a cone testing for a road, but you’d expect samples to be taken and lab tested it is being poured to form the main tower of a suspension bridge.

Scope

It is also important to test not only for the expected criteria, but the off-norms (off from normal) too. “The program shall accept user input of their weight in kilogrammes and their height in metres. Their BMI shall be displayed as a ratio of their (weight / height) to two decimal places” The previous requirements can be thoroughly tested for a full range of human weights and heights, but then fall over at the first hurdle when a user enters 0 for their height.

Executing

Cradle TER module - Test Run
Test Run

Once developed, the set of tests may need to be run multiple times on the same product as development tweaks are made, or once on each batch of product to ensure ongoing conformity. Services, procedures and physical products can all be tested. Whether that’s timing the office evacuation during a fire drill or the alcohol content of a batch of whiskey. It is also important to recognise that each execution set may need to be full or a partial set of the tests. ¬† Every safety harness may be subject to visual inspection and, checks on fastener operation. Every tenth to a set of detailed measurements and every two hundredth to a full destruction test. The ability to execute a set of tests from our full suite is therefore important.

 

Recording

Cradle TER module - Test Result
Test Result

Finally the test execution will produce a set of results which should be recorded. Not only does the recording provide the traceability your QA (Quality assurance) plan should aim for, but it will allow you to investigate trends. How many failures were there last month? Were there more or fewer than the previous month. Is investigation required?

 

Cradle

Cradle’s TEST module¬† (Test, Execution & Recording (TER)) allows you to directly link Test Cases to your requirements, needs, or design elements. You can then define Test Plans and Test Executions to group and run these tests. And as you’d expect the tool will record the Test Results against each Test Step.

For more information download an evaluation copy of Cradle or book a webinar now.

TER video

Highlight Important Values with Colour

Handling masses amount of data within a project can be very challenging. Especially when only wanting to see certain values. Adding colour to these values is not only simple but very effective.

It is usual for most types of information, particularly user stories, features, needs, requirements, test cases and test results to have attributes that characterise the items, such as:

– The priority or release cycle of a user story
– The result of a test
– The responsibility of a system requirement
– The severity of a risk

It is helpful to colour-code these values and to display the attributes with background or foreground colours set from the attributes’ values. To do this:

1. Define colours for the category code’s values in the schema
2. When the category is shown in a view cell, enable use of colour, either foreground or background

You can choose any colours for your values, but there are obvious advantages in using ‘traffic light’ based colours to convey items that are important, delinquent, serious or failures (typically red) and optional, low, OK, satisfactory or pass (typically green), with orange and yellow used for intermediate values. We typically use a bright blue for unset values, simply because they ‘stand out’.

Highlight Important Values with Colour
Highlight Important Values with Colour

Hopefully after this you can start to implment colour into projects making it easier for everyone locating key data. The cradle help offers in depth detail on topics relating to values in colour.

Article Updated 04/02/2019 – Added intro and conclusion

Category Validation

Need to restrict what a user can set in a category?

All categories are set up in the Project Schema. Adding a verification test can be used to ensure only sensible values are added. The types of test that can be set are controlled by the type of data being represented in the category. For example, a date can be tested to be within range, a text category may have a Regex test.

Setup of Category Validation Test
Category Validation

For more information on categories in Cradle, take a look at this useful Cradle help article.

Article updated 17/09/2018 – Added link to Cradle online help