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General IDE testing cycle status points

Five Testers From VC: "VC IDE Testing: cycle check points
General IDE testing cycle status points (iterations on/between any two points�)
Specification review
Test Plan Design
Test Plan Review
Developer Implementation design
Developer Implementation design review
Test case design [exploratory, user feedback, regression]
Automation Design
Automation Implementation and review
Manual Test Pass
Automation run
Project status evaluation and reporting
Since the organization is broken up between disciplines (Program management, Development, and Test), cross discipline communication helps deal with the implied dependencies in the eleven points above.
A typical cycle contains zero or more of the following obstacles based on the above points:
PM (program manager group) delivers spec(s) late, preventing review by schedule
test plans delayed by changing specs/parallel product cycle effort lowering priority
test plan reviews are cursory, resulting in missed holes fund later which cost more to correct
the design is the code
well, we can review the code�or just use the feature�
test cases ended up being designed without complete specifications�requires revisions regularly at added cost
automation gets pushed back due to UI/feature churn making tests obsolete an hour before they are checked in
Automation harness issues; changing requirements; dogfooding delays (a good thing, but causes progress trade-off) [dogfooding: using VC drops to develop automation for testing VC drops�]
Manual Test Pass: can always count on them, but they take too long if automation not strategic or complete (temptation is to delay automation to get complete manual coverage creating an ever deepening hole�bite the bullet and do the au"
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