Activity: Improve Test Assets
This activity maintains and improves the test assets.
DescriptionWork Breakdown StructureTeam AllocationWork Product Usage
Parent Activities

For each test cycle, this work is focused mainly on:

  • Adding the minimal set of additional tests to validate the stability of subsequent Builds
  • Removing test assets that no longer serve a useful purpose or have become uneconomic to maintain
  • Conducting general maintenance of and making improvements to the maintainability of test automation assets
  • Assembling Test Scripts into additional appropriate Test Suites
  • Exploring opportunities for reuse and productivity improvements
  • Maintaining Test Environment Configurations and Test Data sets
  • Documenting lessons learned-both good and bad practices discovered during the test cycle.
Event Driven
Multiple Occurrences

Although most of the roles in the Test discipline play a part in performing this work, the effort is primarily centered around the Test Designer and Tester roles. The most important skills required for this work include focus on test asset coverage, an eye for potential reuse, consistency of test assets and an appreciation of architectural issues.

As a heuristic for relative resource allocation by phase, typical percentages of test resource use for this workflow detail are: Inception - 05%, Elaboration - 20%, Construction - 10% and Transition - 10%.

Where the requirement for test automation is particularly important, this work may take more effort and, therefore, more time or more resource. In some cases it may be useful to assign the creation and maintenance of automation assets to a separate sub-team, allowing them to specialize on automation concerns. This allows the other team members to focus on the improvement of non-automation test assets.

Usage Guidance

This activity should be performed in each test cycle that produces assets that will be reused in subsequent work.

This work typically occurs at the end of each test cycle, however some teams perform aspects of this work only once per Iteration. A common practice is to focus the work in each test cycle on adding and maintaining only those tests necessary to assess the stability of the build in the subsequent test cycle(s). After the final Build for the Iteration has been tested, other aspects of test asset improvement may also be explored.  See: Activity: Validate Build Stability.

Key Considerations
This activity is especially important if the intention is to reuse the assets developed in the current test cycle in subsequent test cycles.
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