A Quick Guide to Project Management Methodology

Phase 5 – Testing

To recap, so far I’ve covered the first four phases of the PM methodology/process that I normally use for IT projects. These are:

  • Phase 1 – Project Kickoff
  • Phase 2 – Exploration
  • Phase 3 – Design
  • Phase 4 – Development

So far, we’ve delivered to the customer the following:

  • Kickoff meeting
  • Revised schedule (on-going)
  • Business Requirements Document (signed off)
  • Functional Design Document (signed off)
  • Weekly status meetings (on-going)
  • Weekly status reports (on-going)
  • Revised risks/issues list (on-going)
  • Technical Design Document (optional to the customer with no formal signoff)

Now we have a developed system which hopefully matches the customer’s requirements to the letter and we’re ready for system testing before moving on to the customer-side User Acceptance Testing.

Preparation for testing test consists of three activities:

  • The Testing Approach – sets the scope of system testing, the overall strategy to be adopted, the activities to be completed, the general resources required and the methods and processes to be used to test the release. It also details the activities, dependencies and effort required to conduct the System Test.
  • Test or QA Plan (deliverable) – details the activities, dependencies and effort required to conduct the System Test and UAT.
  • Test Conditions/Cases documents – the tests to be applied, the data to be processed, the automated testing coverage and the expected results for the System Test and UAT.

System Testing

Led by the Application Developer or Developers and other architects, data integrators, etc. who may have worked on the project, the developed system must undergo rigorous testing in preparation for UAT by the customer. All modules – separately and together – must be tested against the BRD, FDD, and test scripts that have been developed. All data integrations must also be tested to ensure that the system interacts with other systems (ERP, SAP, CRM, etc.) as expected.

Ideally testing is done on a separate platform or server from development as this tested and finalized testing environment would then pass form System Testing into User Acceptance Testing.

User Acceptance Testing

In the case of a software/IT project, that the customer come up with their own test scripts and scenarios to rigorously test the system prior to deployment. It is a serious conflict of interest to have the delivery team create test scripts for the customer to utilize during UAT.

The customer should assemble a team of SMEs for the UAT activity and ensure they are free of other obstacles during this critical phase of the project. Depending on the size of the project, UAT is likely to be a 1-2 week activity.


Once the customer is satisfied with the delivered and tested system and all necessary test scripts have been run through satisfactorily by the customer, the PM must obtain an official signoff of the system. This is critical to ensure success and scope maintenence going forward. Following official UAT signoff, we’re ready for our next phase – Training.

To recap…

Testing Phase Deliverables:

  • Developed system (no signoff required)
  • QA Plan (deliverable – signoff optional)
  • User Acceptance Testing signoff
  • Revised Project Schedule (revised weekly as needed)
  • Revised Risk/Issues List
  • Weekly Project Status Reports
  • Weekly Project Status Meetings

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