July 2017


In Enterprise IT the thing you buy probably already has a ‘load profile’ and recommendation regarding concurrency, however the integration and callouts will not get a real test until you put the thing live on site.

For a system that is large, distributed, or highly interactive even small numbers of users should be part of your planned load testing

Perhaps the following abbreviations might save you some typing when planning

3USR – 3 users (real)
3USS – 3 users (simulated)

5USR – 5 users (real)
5USS – 5 users (simulated)

25USR – 25 users (real)
25USS – 25 users (simulated)

…and so on…

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This describes the situation where phases are merged or phase change assessments are not completed.

In particular I want to describe what happens if you mix ‘Acceptance’ with ‘Completion’

How can this happen?

  • Delivery pressures
  • Fixed deadlines for a complex solution that are too short

How to spot this?

  • Ad hoc requirements
  • Requirements defined in draft form and not signed off before handing over to the supplier
  • Supplementary documentation with slightly different titles

How to avoid this?

  • Have a phase change assessment, whereby documentation is reviewed and signatures are gathered regarding readiness to proceed to the next phase

Why ‘Snakes and Ladders’?

  • Because you have mixed phases you are actively working on an earlier phase while attempting to get to sign off on a later dependency
  • It is not uncommon to achieve small milestones but to drop back in another area
  • Working in this crossover can be quite disorientating

But Agile is just this surely?

  • Agile does not normally involve a buyer / supplier relationship involving million pound tenders