Testing And Program Management

An LCS effort consists of a set of projects with many interdependencies. Many of these interdependencies can be rather subtle, but all of them must work. The traditional approach for determining whether "things work" is systems testing.

Everyone knows that traditional testing works well for a single application. However, for an LCS with many projects and many interdependencies, the systems testing approach comes up against some real limitations. Experience in these efforts is showing that it is not reasonable to expect a single project leader to define, design, and execute all the tests that are needed to verify that the LCS works as a whole. It is not the responsibility of individual projects to test the LCS release as a whole. An architecture group typically does not have the application skills and user contacts to undertake the testing. In other words, the testing of a large complex system as a whole, using traditional approaches, is an undertaking that has no clear owner.

This creates a dilemma. Program management is not positioned to underwrite the quality of the timely delivery of an LCS effort. Individual project leaders cannot be expected to underwrite the quality of the LCS as a whole. At most, they can underwrite that their project works with its primary interfaces. An intense need today, therefore, is to develop the means to underwrite the quality and timeliness of an LCS release as a whole.

In practice, successful LCS efforts have found a way to resolve the dilemma. This approach, as it turns out, is actually a synthesis of program management and what is called the "V-model" testing strategy. This new synthesis in LCS engagements is called engineering management.

Engineering management adds a testing responsibility to traditional program management. This testing role is charged with validating and verifying that the LCS effort works as a whole, as a system of systems, to meet user expectations of a release of an LCS. For example, it will test that when all the online applications are running as a whole, online response time, reliability, and availability meet servicelevel agreements (SLAs). Individual projects can be expected to have confirmed that they meet their SLAs. The projects often, however, cannot confirm that they continue to meet SLAs when the entire LCS release runs. They do not have access to the rest of the LCS release. They may find it difficult or impossible to create a high transaction volume with multiple LCS applications running in a production-like environment.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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