Independent Testing: Reducing the Risk of Project Shortcomings

Ronald is Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston College of Technology.

Topics: Quality, Testing/Test Management

Most project teams test their own projects when it comes to component, system and regression testing instead of having a third set of independent eyes do it.

  • Component testing is an examination (e.g., looking for repairs) of a major design piece of a product or one or more related modules.
  • System testing is an examination of the product in a total systems environment with other hardware and/or software combinations depending on the type of project.
  • Regression testing is the final examination that verifies all the functions work as defined for the product as intended, and for tracking the quality/performance of its output. The whole point of regression testing is to find defects or shortcomings in your final product, and this can be better done by an independent in-house team or using an outside third party or lab.

A good example of what I am talking about is when South Korea’s Samsung Electronics “rushed” to market with the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone on August 19, 2016. This smartphone was tested in its own lab, setting the company apart from other cellphone manufacturers (e.g., Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Pixel), which use third-party labs certified by the U.S. wireless group.

Because many of the lithium batteries of the Galaxy Note 7 overheated and burst into flames, Samsung ended up pulling the plug on this product on October 10, …

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