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The implications of deviating from software testing processes : a case study of a software development company in Cape Town, South Africa
Ensuring that predetermined quality standards are met is an issue which software development companies, and the software development industry at large, is having issues in attaining. The software testing process is an important process within the larger software development process, and is done to ensure that software functionality meets user requirements and software defects are detected and fixed prior to users receiving the developed software. Software testing processes have progressed to the point where there are formal processes, dedicated software testing resources and defect management software in use at software development organisations. The research determined implications that the case study software development organisation could face when deviating from software testing processes, with a focus on function performed by the software tester role. The analytical dimensions of duality of structure framework, based on Structuration Theory, was used as a lens to understand and interpret the socio-technical processes associated with software development processes at the case study organisation. Results include the identification of software testing processes, resources and tools, together with the formal software development processes and methodologies being used. Critical e-commerce website functionality and software development resource costs were identified. Tangible and intangible costs which arise due to software defects were also identified. Recommendations include the prioritisation of critical functionality for test execution for the organisation’s e-commerce website platform. The necessary risk management should also be undertaken in scenarios with time constraints on software testing, which balances risk with quality, features, budget and schedule. Numerous process improvements were recommended for the organisation, to assist in preventing deviations from prescribed testing processes. A guideline was developed as a research contribution to illustrate the relationships of the specific research areas and the impact on software project delivery.
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