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When I talk to senior project and product stakeholders outside of test teams, confidence in the system—especially, confidence that it will have a sufficient level of quality—is one benefit they want from a test team involved in system and system integration testing. Another key benefit such stakeholders commonly mention is providing timely, credible information about quality, including our level of confidence in system quality.
Reporting their level of confidence in system quality often proves difficult to many testers. Some testers resort to reporting confidence in terms of their gut feel. Next to major functional areas, they draw smiley faces and frowny faces on a whiteboard, and say things like, “I’ve got a bad feeling about function XYZ.” When management decides to release the product anyway, the hapless testers either suffer the Curse of Cassandra if function XYZ fails in production, or watch their credibility evaporate if there are no problems with function XYZ in production.
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