Establish a strong acceptance testing program, with independent code reviews, for ITS projects with software product deliveries.
A Washington State Department of Transportation implementation of a regional ATMS.
The NSATMS project's testing process was hampered by several issues:
- There was a disconnect between the clientâ€™s and the contractorâ€™s definitions of a delivered, tested product. While the contractor noted that software modules were delivered, installed, and tested for functionality, the client believed that the tests were not comprehensive and were not reinforced with support tools, documentation, or training sufficient to enable the client staff to perform its own tests and verification. This difference of viewpoint suggests that a mutually agreed-upon software testing and acceptance program, with accompanying user operations manuals and system support documentation, would have enhanced the likelihood of customer satisfaction and overall project success.
- The testing processes, combined with a misperception of the software development aspects of the project, contributed to a system that was not fully operational from the client perspective. As noted in a related lesson, there was a difference of perception regarding the extent to which this project was primarily a modified turnkey installation project, rather than a software development project. A clearer understanding of the software development tasks of this effort would likely have highlighted the importance of mutually agreed-upon testing and validation procedures.
Author: John M. Ishimaru and Mark E. Hallenbeck
Published By: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
Source Date: 12/1/2002
EDL Number: 13818URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib//jpodocs/repts_te//13818.html
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