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Vanderbilt University Medical Center Quality Assurance Testing Best Practices Guideline
  1. Overview

    Document Purpose
    This document explains the Quality Assurance Team's Best Practices in the testing cycle during five distinct phases: the Initiate QA Request Phase, the Determine Test Requirements Phase, the Create Test Plan Phase, the Perform Testing Phase, and the Close Out Phase. The QA Team Lead and QA Team will never replace the existing User Test Team. Rather, the QA Team's role is to enhance and coordinate the testing effort and alleviate the need for redundant data entry keystrokes via automated testing.
    This methodology will be used for any project that involves user testing or integrated testing (testing between multiple systems).

    Roles and Responsibilities

    The Test Team includes an Information Management QA Team Lead and possibly other Information Management QA resources, as needed, along with Key Users assigned to the testing effort by the Project Team. This Test Team is responsible for performing the QA Best Practices Process as defined in this document.

    The QA Team Lead's responsibilities include developing and executing automated test scenarios, and leading, coordinating and communicating the status of the testing effort to ensure that the QA Best Practices are followed. Automated test scenarios are developed using an Automated Testing Tool (using a C-like programming language).

    The Key Users' responsibilities include defining test requirements, defining test scenarios, performing the manual tests, and reporting the results back to the QA Team Lead. Manual tests are performed using a test application system (e.g., Medipac, Epic, etc.).

    The Project Team approves the test requirements created by the Test Team.

    The Project Manager submits a Request For QA Services (via a QA CSR) and assigns responsibility to a project team member to resolve each test failure reported. The Project Manager also communicates back to the QA Team Lead when the issue has been resolved. The Project Manager can assign a project team designee for coordinating all QA defects.

    The Implementations Team Manager approves the Request For QA Services and assigns a QA Team Lead to each QA Request along with other QA resources, as needed.

  2. Phase: Initiate QA Request

    During this phase, the Project Manager submits a Request For QA Services to the Implementations Project Manager. The request is then analyzed and prioritized, based on resource availability and business priority. For each request that can be satisfied, a QA Team Lead will be assigned to coordinate each testing project.

    Tasks:

    • The Project Manager submits a QA CSR (Customer Service Request) to the Implementations Team Manager, which is a formal Request For QA Services. Simultaneously, the Project Manager submits approval to his or her manager. Once the Project Manager's Manager has approved the submitted QA CSR, it will be available for the Implementations Team Manager's approval.

      Note: Project Managers are encouraged to submit their requests, ideally three months in advance of the need. This will ensure that the project is scheduled on the upcoming Three Month QA Testing Overview.

    • Once the Request For QA Services is submitted, The Project Manager supplies the Implementations Project Manager with the following three documents:

      • Project Scope with Functional and Business Requirements
      • High-Level Project Plan (including the desired testing timeframe)
      • QA/Test Team Structure Document (including all members on the Test Team).

    • The Implementations Team Manager reviews the Request For QA Services request, prioritizes it and determines availability of QA resources (can the team "satisfy the request"?). The priority of the request will generally follow the business priority set by the existing business priority setting groups (Epic Advisory, Financial User Forum, and Information Systems Committee).

    • If the QA Team can satisfy the request, then the Implementations Team Manager assigns a QA Team Lead and other QA resources, as needed. If the request cannot be satisfied, then the Implementations Team Manager returns the Request for QA Services to the Project Manager with a request to either withdraw it or reschedule it.

    Deliverables:

    • Formal Request For QA Services (via a QA CSR) by the Project Manager accompanied by the following:

      • Project Scope including Functional/Business Requirements
      • High-Level Project Plan
      • QA/Test Team Structure Document

    • Approved Request For QA Services by the Implementations Project Manager

  3. Phase: Create Test Requirements

    During this phase, the QA Team Lead and Test Team establish the criteria for testing the project including defining what should be tested and the expected results (i.e. expected outcomes). As a result of this phase, they revise the Three Month QA Testing Overview (which lists all user testing efforts for the next three months), determine test coverage by identifying the test requirements, and achieve Project Team approval on the test requirements.

    Tasks:

    • Once the Implementations Team Manager assigns a QA Team Lead to the project, this person begins attending project team meetings and reviews project documents supplied by the Project Manager.

    • The QA Team Lead will revise the Three Month QA Testing Overview in order to give the test team members (identified by the Project Team in the Test Team Structure Document) for this project as much notice as possible. This schedule will show all current and upcoming testing efforts and will also show which user departments are involved in each testing effort (including any overlap of projects being tested). An updated Three Month QA Testing Overview will be distributed to all user departments on a monthly basis.

    • The QA Team Lead starts the testing effort by distributing project documents to the Test Team and then scheduling test team meetings.

    • Through collaborative efforts, the QA Team Lead and the Test Team define test requirements (what needs to be tested in detail) and documents these requirements in the Test Requirements Index Section of the QA Test Plan Document. These requirements will be as detailed as necessary for the complexity of a given project. Refer to The QA Test Plan Document Template.

    • The QA Team Lead then presents the test requirements to the Project Team in order to gain their approval.

    • If the Project Team approves the test requirements, then the Test Team moves to the next phase, Create Test Plan. If the Project Team does not approve the test requirements, then the QA Team Lead and the Test Team continue to modify the document until it is approved.

    Deliverables

    • Three Month QA Testing Overview

    • Test Requirements Index Section of the QA Test Plan Document

  4. Phase: Create Test Plan

    During this phase, the Test Team and QA Team Lead develop the detailed test scenarios that meet the test requirements identified in the previous phase. In addition, they will also determine how each test scenario should be tested (i.e. manual or automated) and reach consensus on testing assignments.

    Tasks :

    • From the Test Requirement, the QA Team Lead develops detailed manual test scenarios and updates the Test ID column on the Test Requirements Index Section of the QA Test Plan Document. This column identifies the test ID (s) that address each test requirement. Refer to the Test Requirements Index Template.

    • The QA Team Lead then separates test scenarios into either manual or automated status. Then the QA Team Lead identifies the test type (manual or automated) in the Test Requirements Index.

    • The QA Team Lead and the Test Team create The QA Test Plan Document, complete with testing assignments for each Test Team member. The QA Test Plan also includes patient naming conventions for this project.

    • Once the Test Team approves the QA Test Plan, the QA Team Lead finalizes the QA Test Plan, distributes it to the Project Manager, and prepares for the next phase, Perform Test Process.

    • In addition, once the QA Test Plan is approved, the QA Team Lead creates new or revises existing automated test scenarios that were identified in The QA Test Plan Document.

    Deliverables

    • Test Requirements Index Section of the QA Test Plan Document

    • Manual Test Scenario Documents

    • QA Test Plan Document

    • Automated Test Scenarios

  5. Phase: Perform Test Process

    During this phase, the Test Team and QA Team Lead execute the tests (per each test scenario) and record the test results in a test management system. In addition, the QA Team Lead distributes a Test Status Report to the Project Team.

    Tasks :

    • Using the test scenarios, the Test Team performs manual testing, while the QA Team Lead simultaneously performs automated testing. During this step, the responsible Test Team member signs-off on each test scenario and communicates the testing results to the QA Team Lead.

    • The QA Team Lead records the testing results into a test management system. Note: In the future, the goal is for the Test Team to run manual tests and record their results in an on-line test management system. In addition, the QA Team Lead will run automated tests and record their results in the on-line test management system. In addition, the Project Manager will also have access to this on-line test management system and can review and run test status reports at any time. Test results are recorded in the test managements system by the QA Team Lead as follows:

      • If the test passed, it is recorded as a Passed test result in the test management system. If the test did not pass, then the tester evaluates the failure based on the following criteria:

        • If the test scenario is valid (i.e. no modifications are necessary), then the tester generates a Problem Report and submits it to the QA Team Lead including all pertinent information including the failure severity and the detailed steps necessary to reproduce the failure (including screen prints).

        • The QA Team Lead will attempt to reproduce the failure, whenever possible. If it cannot be reproduced it will be returned to the Tester and the test we will be recorded as Retest test result.

        • If it can be reproduced, this test is recorded as a Failed test result in the test management system. In addition, a failure severity is assigned at this time (with business impact input solicited from the user departments).

          • For any failure, The QA Team Lead will assign the failure for corrective action to an appropriate project team member. In this case, the Test Team will retest the test when the project team member informs the QA Team Lead that the issue has been resolved and is ready for retesting.

          • If the project team member discovers that the failure needs to be assigned to another project team member, they will inform and return the failure to the QA Team Lead.

        • If the scenario is not valid (i.e. the Test Team misunderstood the application when writing the test scenario), then the tester revises the test scenario and returns it to the QA Team Lead. This test is recorded as a Revised test result. The Test Team then retests the test scenario.

    • The QA Team Lead will generate a QA Testing Status Report and communicate it to the Project Team at a minimum of once a week, but will report the status even more frequently if required.

    • Testing of all scenarios will be repeated until all tests pass or the failures are within acceptable tolerances approved by the Project Team.

    • After the testing effort has been completed, a regression testing of all critical tests is performed. This regression step ensures that all initial passes still pass.

    Deliverables:

    • Revised Test Scenarios

    • Problem Report Document

    • QA Testing Status Report (minimum of once a week)

  6. Phase: Close Out

    During this phase, the QA Team Lead attends go-live meetings and analyzes the current process. If necessary, this person revises and refines the process for continued improvement.

    Tasks :

    • The QA Team Lead and the Test Team participate in go-live meetings, as needed.

    • The QA Team Lead participates in project close out meetings in order to evaluate any production problems in an effort to improve future testing projects.

    • The QA Team Lead revises any test scenarios and files all project testing documentation for future re-use.

    • The QA Team Lead refines The QA Testing Best Practices Document to continuously improve the process.

    Deliverables :

    • When applicable, revised QA Testing Best Practices Document and Diagram

    • Project Go-Live Meeting Notes

    • Project Close Out Meeting Notes

 

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