A well planned test protocol is absolutely essential if a new version is to be released onto the live system with reasonable certainty of success.
Tests should not be limited to performing merely technical validation (checking for the absence of errors), rather, functional tests with real users must be conducted to ensure that the version meets the set requirements and is reasonably usable (there will always be a degree of resistance to change among users and this should be taken into account).
It is important that the tests include back-out plans to ensure that it is possible to return to the last stable version quickly and in an orderly way without the loss of valuable information.
The main activities performed during the testing process should include:
- Tests of correct functioning of the release in a realistic environment.
- Tests of automatic or manual installation procedures.
- List of bugs or errors detected, if any.
- Tests on back-out plans.
- Documentation for users and service personnel.
Release Management will be responsible for final validation of the version before proceeding with its installation. If the version is not accepted it will be returned to Release Management for re-evaluation.