Independent Testing: Reducing the Risk of Project Shortcomings

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

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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