Integration Testing – What to do when Things go Bad

It is the first day testing three different systems together. There is excitement in the air in anticipation to see data flow from one system to the next. The schedule timeline is filled out, the plan is in place, test data has been created, and those involved are ready to go.

You are the Team Lead and are sure the Integration System testing should be easy to execute. But soon you start to notice deviations from the plan.

When Integration Testing goes wrong & how to fix it:

When your team is not there. You have set the schedule and made sure your co-workers are aware they need to be on call. Even so, no one is able to get ahold of Bob, who is supposed to send the first batch of data from System A. It’s a good thing Jack was set up with Bob’s role and trained as a backup to send the data. When doing testing make sure there is a backup person who has the right roles to check data and run transactions. This will prevent any holdups to the schedule.

When the test scripts are not accurate. While running through the test plan, one of the testers mentions that the test script does not match the current scenario. As processes change the team must be open to updating test scripts to match the current process and data. After updating the script, make sure to re-run the test. It is easy to say it is a “pass” you cannot be certain of the pass unless the test is re-run.

System Failure

When the tests do not pass due to bad data. The first round of test data had bad values causing the test to fail. That is not a problem though because there is a person available to create more test data and configure it as need be. The test run with the bad data should not be totally discounted as they system should be able to handle a bad data type.

When missed requirements are identified. Hopefully this doesn’t happen and if a requirement is missed it’s only minor. The first thing to do is prioritize it. Is the requirement a “must have” to Go Live or is it something that can be implemented in the weeks after? Take into account the requirement’s priority, impact, and time to deliver. This will help to make the decision of what choice to make.

By now the plan is off course but is not totally lost. By being able to go with the flow and test processes that make sense to run together, testing can move forward. Keep the plan open to update it during testing to represent the actual steps taken to complete the tests.

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