Good and bad aspects of test sign off

Test Sign Off, n: 1. A promise from the test team that all tests have been run and are passing to the teams satisfaction. (Secretly also means 2. The condition of having assigned blame for all missed bugs to the test team. 3. An impediment to shipping software quickly.)

If your test signoff is all definition #1 you are in good shape. A test sign off doesn't add quality, it only proves a baseline. Injecting quality in your product has to start from the well-spring.

Comments (4)

  1.  Thats a good one. I actually filled for sign off once with the comment: "This doesn't mean that those areas are bug free"

  2. Frank Rogers says:

    Why use that horrible expression "sign off on".

    Why not just sign?

  3. Judy says:

    Signoff here does not mean approval.  We list all items tested and the results.  Also list all outstanding defects and areas not tested for one reason or another.  In test we are in the business of providing information not approval.  So sign off may say all identified items were tested and passed, or it may be conditional and say these items have not yet passed testing…then it's up to the owners, sponsors, etc. to decide what they are willing to risk.  Test should really not be making recommendations to or accepting risk on behalf of the business partners.  Afterall, wearen't users.

  4. Kevin Miller says:

    I always make it very clear that when QA "sign-off" what we are actually doing is confirming that we have tested all items listed in the Test Plan.

    It is then up to the business stakeholder to ensure that they are happy with the coverage QA have provided

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