Testing for Transportation Management Systems: Q & A

Keywords testing TMS transport management systems

What is testing?
Testing is the practice of making objective judgments regarding the extent to which the system (device) meets, exceeds or fails to meet stated objectives

What is the purpose of testing?
There are two fundamental purposes of testing: verifying procurement specifications and managing risk. First, testing is about verifying that what was specified is what was delivered: it verifies that the product (system) meets the functional, performance, design, and implementation requirements identified in the procurement specifications. Second, testing is about managing risk for both the acquiring agency and the system’s vendor/developer/integrator. The testing program is used to identify when the work has been “completed” so that the contract can be closed, the vendor paid, and the system shifted by the agency into the warranty and maintenance phase of the project.

Why is testing important?
A good testing program is a tool for both the agency and the integrator/supplier; it typically identifies the end of the “development” phase of the project, establishes the criteria for project acceptance, and establishes the start of the warranty period.

When in the SE Life-Cycle does testing occur?
In the System Engineering “V” Model for ITS, testing is the first step in Integration and Recompostition. However, while testing is shown as one stage of the life cycle, it is important to understand that testing is also a continuous process within the life cycle. Testing begins with writing the requirements; each requirement must be written in a manner that allows it to be tested. During the design stages, testing will be a consideration as design trade-offs are evaluated for their ability to satisfy the requirements. New requirements may emerge from the designs as choices are made to satisfy the requirements within the project’s constraints. Hardware components, software components, subsystems, and systems will be verified during the implementation and testing stages. Final system-level tests will be performed to accept the system and demonstrate the system’s readiness for production service. However, testing activities will not end once the system is in operation; testing will continue as the operations and maintenance staff perform corrective, adaptive, and other system maintenance activities.

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