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Pragmatic Software Testing: Becoming an Effective and Efficient Test Professional by Black, Rex, Rex Black Consulting Services, Bulverde, Texas

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Chapter 4. Understanding Test Strategies, Tactics, and Design

In this chapter, I discuss how we as testers can link business and project testing needs to specific testing approaches. What are the test strategies, the general principles and ideas, for implementing a test effort? What are the test tactics, the techniques, processes, and approaches, available for specific tests? How can we design tests that suit our strategies, tactics, and needs?

Aligning Mission, Strategies, and Tactics

In Figure 4-1, you see a graphical representation of the perfect test effort. The following items are perfectly aligned:

  • Test mission: How the test activities benefit the project.

  • Test strategies: The guiding principles and ideas for the test activities.

  • Test tactics: Techniques, processes, and approaches applied to specific test tasks.

  • The entire test effort is also perfectly aligned with its project context.

Aligning test mission, strategies, and tactics

Figure 4-1. Aligning test mission, strategies, and tactics

Now, in the real world, you never have perfect projects or perfect alignment. However, the better aligned these elements are, the more effective and efficient your test effort.

Many of the chapters so far have looked at the test mission and overall alignment between testing and the project. This chapter looks closely at test strategies and introduces test tactics and design.

There are many test strategies. I’ll survey the most common ones. All of ...

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