GUIDELINES FOR RISK ASSESSMENT
The type and severity of each risk
associated with an item of work should be jointly agreed with the
customer. This need not be a time consuming task as many risks are
common to any size or type of software delivery. Joint agreement of
risk may be obtained at the time of raising the DBS or WTI.
- Establish any ‘mission critical’ or ‘soft’ target dates, and
incorporate these when assessing the resource requirements.
b. Size of job:
- Is the
client (or you) accurately assessing the impact of the change? Use the
dataflow mapping to trace associated processing. User representatives
(or the Business Consultant) should be able assess if any future
policy events or product changes are affected.
c. Stability of environment:
- Does the test environment sufficiently mirror the production
environment? Has the code been substantially amended in the past? Does
the environment contain only valid data or is the data old, corrupt,
incomplete or inappropriate?
d. Manageable tests:
- Not all risks can be eliminated by testing but they can be controlled.
Do not test for testing’s sake. Tests should be run for minutes
rather than hours.
e. Grade each risk:
the risk is critical to the user, then tests against the risk should
be more exacting.
f. Balanced risk model:
- Review the initial risk model with the users and the analyst.
Inevitably the testing required to cover all risks is substantial.
Take a pragmatic approach to meet the time and resource constraints
without significantly increasing the the risk. The solution must
always be achievable and affordable.
g. The user knows best what is
- Although the assessment of risk is a
joint process, if the customer identifies an event that they feel must
be tested for then this must be included in the risk model.
h. Risks increase if the
functionality is to be backdated:
- Retrofitting code
should be avoided if at all possible, as components require a baseline
test (see Test Types) at the system date of implementation and
re-testing at the current date.
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