The planning phase of a test subproject can be broken into four main activities. The first, acquaintance with the project, can be a kick-off meeting and subsequent discussions with the product and development managers. It might take one day, if the test manager already worked on a similar project, and the product is an incremental extension of the existing system that the person and his colleagues have tested before.
Several factors can complicate the project context understanding. For example, if a new employee is thrown into the project if the company has recently gone through layoffs or survival if the system is new or unique if new technologies and processes are planned to be used if the project or its subproject requires the efforts of individuals with diverse qualifications, familiarizing with the project may take several days and even weeks. Software projects outsourcing contributes to timely and successful implementation of any project or subproject.
The next activity in the planning phase is a quality risk analysis. The test manager may decompose this stage into seven tasks. Identifying the candidate quality risks involves exploring various sources and selecting the main categories of quality risks. This activity also includes studying the Failure Mode and Effect Analysis. This does not necessarily take the manager’s full day, but the task can take a whole day. The next task of the manager is to identify key stakeholders. Like familiarizing with the project, the task is simplified due to his staying with the company. The factors mentioned above can determine the key stakeholders and help to obtain their consent to participate in the discussion for longer than one day spent by the manager.
The Failure Mode and Effect Analysis briefing can be held within one working day outside the company. If requirement-based analysis and Failure Mode and Effect Analysis are used for a small or medium-sized system, one working day is a reasonable estimate. But a more complex system or analysis of designs and implementation problems at a low level may take longer. In one of the projects, three testers spent more than two weeks doing detailed Failure Mode and Effect Analysis on the basis of design for five or six major constituent subsystems. If you resort to informal technique, the analysis can be completed in one-on-one day meeting, provided you can gather everyone together.