Load Testing Asterisks

I’ve recently engaged to do some load testing oversight, and as such, this required some different asterisks for my estimate than my regular functional testing estimates. Some are applicable to load testing in general, but some are specific to the role I’ve taken as sort of a project manager wielding a prod over a third company that will provide the actual scripting and running of the tests.

Here are the asterisks I came up with, the torpedoes that could sink the project or, at the very least, the estimate:

  • Problems with the environment or application require additional work. If the testing environment is not configured correctly or does not mirror the anticipated production environment, the load tests might require additional starting/stopping and run times.
  • Functional defects impede test scripts. If the test scripts encounter functional defects, the load tests might require additional iterations after defects have been corrected.
  • Functional workflow remains the same between load tests. This estimate anticipates that corrections to any defects/load issues found will not require refactoring or rewriting the test scripts. If the application changes in such a fashion, the test team will need additional time to adjust and retest the scripts.
  • Communication between test liaison and test vendor runs smoothly.

What other factors would you add to this list? Why do I bother with these open-ended questions? Because I just like the sound of my own keyboard clicking (yeah, it’s an old school keyboard).

For a more positive spin on load testing efforts, see 7 Steps to Load Testing Bliss.

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