ISO 29119 Testing Standard – Why the controversy?

April 20, 2016

ISO-29119-Testing-Standard-codeBeamer-ALM-Intland-Software-336x336 ISO 29119 Testing Standard - Why the controversy? Test Management The road to ISO 29119 was a long time in the making, and although far from perfect, the 5 standards that make up ISO 291119 do provide an important benchmark for testers to test themselves against, as well as for consumers of testing services to assess the quality of testing provided.  Prior to ISO 29119 there was no internationally recognised set of standards for testing, which meant that consumers had no way to gauge what good testing actually looked like.  In a Historical sense, time pre ISO 29119 will no doubt be considered the wild west of testing era.

Internationalization of Testing standards is important from another perspective, no matter to whom the testing work is contracted out to and regardless of their location, the quality should remain according to the ISO 29119 standard since it should be used if specified.  Previously, in different countries different testing standards often applied, making the quality of the end product difficult to guarantee.

Previously the question would always have to be asked – good quality according to what standards?

Innitally there was controversy over the content of the ISO 29119 standard, with several organizations in opposition to the content (2014).  Several individuals in particular from the Context-Driven School of testing were vocal in their opposition, even beginning a petition against the new testing standards, they gained over a thousand signatures to it.  The opposition seems to have been the result of a few individuals who were ill – informed about the new standards as well as those that felt excluded from the standards creation process.  If any critism could be levelled at ISO it is the notification and inclusion of the community during the consultation process, perhaps a improvement in how they garner feedback from communities is necessary.

One particular gripe was the extent of documentation required for the documentation of requirements by the standard, however it was pointed out that ISO standards are NOT compulsory unless required by an individual, organization or government and stipulated so in contracts.

Officially, ISO describe their standards as “Guideline documentation that reflects agreements on products, practices, or operations by nationally or internationally recognized industrial, professional, trade associations or governmental bodies”. The operative word here is guideline.

ISO 29119 is comprised of 5 standards

  • ISO/IEC 29119-1: Concepts & Definitions
  • ISO/IEC 29119-2: Test Processes
  • ISO/IEC 29119-3: Test Documentation
  • ISO/IEC 29119-4: Test Techniques
  • ISO/IEC 29119-5: Keyword Driven Testing

The last one for Keyword Driven Testing was only released in 2015, therefore there are many developers that have not yet adapted to using these testing standards. Although the standard is relatively new and there are no available figures yet on its use, we have no doubt that increasing numbers of testing related contracts will be specifiying its use in the future.

How does codeBeamer ALM Assist Developers to Meet the Rigorous Testing and Documentation of Requirements?

Here at Intland Software we strive to ensure that features are included to assist developers to meet the rigorous testing and documentation of requirements as well as to meet testing standards.  We are constantly adding new features and improving current features as the environment changes in order to remain supportive to users.  Our current feature set greatly supports developers in many ways, and to meet the requirements of ISO 29119. When feature suggestions are made to improve the product we endeavor to meet these requests where beneficial.

Intland software’s codeBeamer ALM comes integrated with a complete service desk so that feedback provided by users or customers filters right through to the development team.  The service desk provides the customer / user with real time updates on the progress of their submission.  We suggest that ISO should adopt codeBeamer ALM. For the following uses:-

  • Cavassing groups and organizations for standards input (Demand Management functionality)
  • Collaborative voting on ISO Standards content for establishing prioritization
  • As a documents management system with integrated Wiki for the development of ISO standard requirements.
  • As a complete system for collecting feedback via our integrated services desk (for more information about our services desk contact us for a demo).

ALM Software is suitable for any industry where change is expected (ISO Standards are a good example).

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Eva Johnson

Written by

Eva is an Economist (MSc) and also holds an MBA in Marketing Communications. She has over 10 years of experience in journalism, digital media communication and project management working with several multinational companies and governmental institutions. You will find her blogs posts on a variety of subjects from Agile-Waterfall Hybrid, Scrum to DevOps.

Eva Johnson has written 131 posts for Intland Software.

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