When to Document:
Document your testing methodology at the outset of the project. Know what will be tested, how, and by whom. Document a test plan for unit testing, integration testing, and performance testing.
Work with the project team on the plan and obtain sign-off from the business owners assigned to the project or Steering Committee. Educating the stakeholders is key.
When to Start:
Start early. Today’s iterative software development methodologies allow users to test parts of the system early on in the project. Work-flow and integration testing should start when two or more parts of the system that are adjacent/dependent in the work-flow are ready to test.
Test plans can be revised as you go, new work-flows can be introduced based on new understanding of how the technology will work, performance goals modified, etc. Be flexible and be prepared for change.
When to Stop
Testing should follow the test plan. Integration and work-flow testing should mimic the most common and also not-so-common scenarios. Set specific ‘Testing Days’ with your team; educate them on the testing process.
Performance testing should simulate fully-loaded databases and full complement of users if possible.
Check/Sign-off testing items and work-flows as they are passed; keep the documentation current so everyone can see the progress of what has been done and what is left.
When all is done, you’re done.
Did I miss something? Have you done something different?
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