Phase 3: Development/Testing
Some people may argue that development and testing should be taken up as different phases. But, considering the interaction that needs to take place between these two teams and the synergy required between each member of these two teams it seems befitting to keep these two activities in the same phase.
The development phase should be initiated only once the complete deliverable has been received from the design team. This is one of the best practices that should be employed in product development. Organization should be employing their internally identified best practices to develop, test and review the product.
At times not all resources as required by the project are available. This is a good phase to employ any third party organizations (e.g. design consultants, contractors, etc) as key members of the development team, as initiation if this phase indicates that the teams clarity on the overall aspect of the application at hand.
Apart from testing, milestone review meetings should consist of high level review of features & functions associated with the given release, and should have both an architecture representative as well as a dedicated project manager present to ensure proper compliance & schedules are being met along the way. In the event that a necessary change needs to take place, the key people in the meeting can co-ordinate with their perspective teams to ensure project deliverable move forward in a stream-lined and coordinated fashion.
This will also ensure that elements such as scope creep stay to a minimum, because the functional specification is aligned with a work breakdown structure, with appropriate timelines as-signed accordingly.
Remember that a key difference between management review and testing is what is defined as difference between verification and validation respectively.
Testing or verification is to check “Are we building the product right” whereas review or validation is to check “Are we building the right product”. Mark the subtle difference between the placement of the word “Right”.
As functionality is completed, and stakeholder buy off is complete. The project should go through a final approval, with key stakeholders engaged to ensure functionality aligns with the statement of work and functional specifications. This should take place with small groups of key representatives, with a set timeline for feedback and data gathering. The project sponsor in this case too has the final say.