Thursday, April 28, 2011

Checklist Formatted as a Dashboard


Context: This format was used on a number of user acceptance initiatives; in one of those cases, one of the main components of the solution was delivered by an agile team that exploits both automated unit tests and automated functional tests.

The concept of a “session” was not consistent throughout; on one project, there was one of these per day and the “session” was a 1-4 hour session that an end-user or group of end-users completed. This was useful for scheduling part-time testers into the test effort. I also gave those user-testers a session record template to journal their test results into. On another project, the “session” was really a test cycle and not a session at all, but the format was still useful as an information radiator.

Everything, session records and checklist/dashboard, was posted into a project team site so that everyone could see the latest updates when they wished.

There is another variation of this format that I’ve used that replaced the traffic light metaphor with a weather indicator (5 different images from stormy to sunny) so that there were more than just three choices available.

Sample UAT Checklist in One Page Project Manager format

More details on the one page project manager format for other purposes is available at (my apologies for posting an incorrect URL to the forum earlier).

This dashboard and an associated burn-down chart that showed actual progress as compared to ideal progress are consistently ranked highly in retrospectives (I host a test retrospective separate from the project retrospective for initiatives like these).

One of the oft-hidden benefits of this checklist is that it is useful for the next release of the solution, especially if you revise it every release to reflect what the organization has learned during the previous one. Refactoring, per se.

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