REVIEW - Critical Testing Processes - Plan, Prepare, Perform, Perfect


Critical Testing Processes

Plan, Prepare, Perform, Perfect


Rex Black



Addison-Wesley Professional (2004)




Mark Symonds


December 2004



Do not buy this book if you want to improve your debugging skills. This book is about the test process, giving examples from a fictional case study of a new release of a word processor.

The case study is for a major project at a large company with separate departments dedicated to programming and testing. The impression given is that the author's consultancy specialises in testing for large companies and no guidance is given on how to scale down the processes.

The book has four sections: Plan, Prepare, Perform and Perfect.

Plan covers risk analysis, and work planning. Much emphasis is given on obtaining stakeholder involvement. This does seem overlong and could have been improved with some pruning of the text.

Prepare covers hiring and building test teams, implementing test systems and system coverage.

Perform is the testing phase and covers handling new test releases.

Perfect describes the bug reporting process and the emphasis here is prioritising bugs and making sure that they can be reproduced before reporting them.

Throughout the book, the recurring theme is of using test feedback to improve both the testing process and the software under test.

There are errors in the book such as the graphics and text on page 392 being out of sync which should have been found during proof reading.

Much additional useful material is also contained on the author's web site at

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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